MADDIE Trailer by Reuben Hernandez

While we know that Reuben has many tricks up his sleeve, he continues to surprise us with his creativity and talent. His most recent project and narrative directorial debut, Maddie, has been the Official Selection of multiple film festivals throughout the country, as well as the winner of the Award of Merit at the 2017 One-Reeler Short Film Competition. Here we ask Reuben a few questions about his experience creating this short film – a story close to his heart.


Can you tell us a little about Maddie and what inspired you to start this project?

Maddie is a narrative short film inspired by a life-altering personal experience I had in NYC, that I wrote, directed, and produced.


Without giving too much away, what is Maddie about?

Maddie shows how certain events can alter the course of the rest of your life. It’s a very real, raw, and honest human story. The central protagonist in Maddie is a strong, yet complex female character.


What is personally most important to you about this film?

The film is a very personal story that is close to my heart, and was inspired by actual events that I witnessed firsthand. The process of creating the film has been very therapeutic and taught me that anything is possible because making this film was an uphill battle most of the time. Bringing this project to life has really empowered me as a storyteller and filmmaker.

I learned the importance of being fearless, and carrying out your vision and making the film you want to make.
— Reuben

How, if at all, is Maddie different from your other projects?

Maddie is my narrative directorial debut. It’s the first screenplay that I’ve ever written, which I did partly out of necessity. It’s also the first time that I worked with and was in charge of such a large crew. I think we had over 30 cast and crew members on our first production day. I was so focused that day that I even forgot to eat, which is completely out of character for me. One of my crew members literally had to force a piece of pizza down my throat (Thanks Dan!). I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude and thanks to my talented cast and crew. They did a remarkable job and this film never would have happened without them. I feel so lucky and honored to have had such a great team to work and collaborate with. The people you work with and rely on can make or break a project.


Have you learned anything new throughout this experience?

The entire year long process was a huge learning experience! It was absolutely grueling, challenging in every aspect, and my most ambitious project to date. If I could go back and do anything differently, I would try and hire a bigger team. I wore way too many hats mainly out of necessity because I self-financed the film. It would have been great to have a DP/cinematographer on set, instead of myself both directing and being in charge of the camera department. Ideally it would have been great to also have a producer and a casting director. I also called in a lot of favors and I learned it doesn’t hurt to ask. Some people said no, but a lot of people also actually said yes and were on board with the project after reading the treatment. I learned the importance of being fearless, and carrying out your vision and making the film you want to make. One of my friends that declined to work on the film gave me some great advice. She said imagine that your film is a moving train, and that people will get on and off, but the train will always be moving forward regardless, no matter what. Those words always gave me hope to see Maddie through to the end, despite all of the various challenges.

Bringing this project to life has really empowered me as a storyteller and filmmaker.
— Reuben

Maddie is screening at two upcoming events. Details are listed below. See more of Reuben’s work at his website,

Wednesday, November 15th at 6 PM
Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Tickets are $7 (purchase at the box office) and include all screenings that night.

Thursday, November 16th at 9:15 PM
Williamsburg Independent Film Festival
Wythe Hotel Cinema
80 Wythe Ave. at N. 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here: