Dallas International Film Festival Film

Texas Documentary WATER WARS Makes a Significant Splash at Dallas International Film Festival

Written by Kelly Kitchens

Red Aces Productions and One Chameleon Entertainment are proud to announce the world premiere of WATER WARS, a feature-length documentary directed by Mario Mattei (THE GENTLEMAN DRIVER), at the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF). RedAcesProductions.com/Water-Wars 

WATER WARS starts its festival run by premiering at DIFF at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at the Violet Crown Dallas in West Village, 3699 McKinney Ave, Dallas, 75204. A second screening will occur at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 28. Passes and tickets are available at DallasFilm.org.

“I am thrilled beyond words to have our world premiere at DIFF and be associated with this renowned film festival!” exclaimed Philip Guitar, producer/screenwriter of WATER WARS

“Dallas is the perfect spot to tell this pivotal true-grit Texas adventure over life’s most precious resource…water. It is a David-and-Goliath story with statewide implications; it’s twisty and insightful, and where sky-high stakes were on the line,” Guitar concluded.


From producers Philip Guitar (“Crude Massacre”) and Jon Michael Simpson (MILLI VANILLI), WATER WARS tells the story of how West Texas ranchers, farmers, and a billionaire clash in a high-stakes legal war over water and land rights. From the unforgiving desert to the Texas Supreme Court’s chambers, this story ripples into the water’s future. 

WATER WARS takes an in-depth look at the colorful characters and political maneuvering that led to the 2007 Texas Supreme Court case Guitar Holding v. Hudspeth, one of the most significant cases in Texas water law to this day. It examines the turmoil that erupts in small town Dell City, nestled in the “Valley of Hidden Waters,” over new water board rules when El Paso offers lucrative water deals to some landowners while others are locked out. 


The film honors the late Laura Lynch, a founding band member of The Chicks (formerly known as The Dixie Chicks) and a featured subject of WATER WARS, who died tragically in a car crash shortly after filming concluded.

An opening quote from Laura Lynch sets the tone for the documentary: “Has anybody talked about where this whole story began? It didn’t have to be a water war, but it kinda turned into one. It always felt like it was them versus us. They threw every kind of curve ball in our direction. But Boone Pickens said it best: ‘If you’re on the right side of an issue, you keep driving until you hear glass break.’ And we did.” 

About Red Aces Productions:

Red Aces Productions, known as “Home of the Texas Thriller,” is based in Fort Worth, Texas. Its productions primarily focus on narrative feature films with a Southwest thriller/horror vibe and stories with poker and gambling-related twists. The production house is also in the nonscripted documentary space, focusing on true crime in Texas.

About One Chameleon Entertainment:

ONE CHAMELEON ENTERTAINMENT (OCE) is a production company founded by Jon Michael Simpson in 2014. The company focuses on creating character-driven and inspiring stories that showcase human perseverance.

OCE has produced over ten narrative and documentary films that have won numerous awards. This includes a Children’s and Family Emmy® Nomination for the “Hi, I’m ____” series (MAX + Magnolia Network) and projects that have premiered at festivals including SXSW, Tribeca, and more

About the author

Kelly Kitchens

Kelly J Kitchens (Wickersham), film publicist

As an editor and feature writer, Kelly J. Kitchens found herself engrossed in North Texas’ arts, entertainment, leisure/hospitality and fund-raising events scene in the early and mid-'90s where she was a feature writer, critic and editor for a weekly arts and entertainment magazine in Dallas called The Met. Her love of film, music, art, theater and worthy causes drove her to then pursue the publicity side of the media business in 1995. Kelly has been honored by being named a “master publicist” in the Fort Worth Business Press and an “ace media maven” in The Dallas Morning News.

For more than 25 years, Kelly has had her hand in much of the Dallas film world. For instance, she publicized Angelika Film Centers openings in Dallas and Plano and the revitalization of Houston’s Angelika. She is the director of press and publicity for several area film festivals and independent films playing at other film festivals. And in 2022, she plans to return to be the publicist for Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in DFW.

During the pandemic, Kelly wasn’t sure where her career would take her. Fortunately, she was able to help save Thin Line Film Festival, Dallas VideoFest's DocuFest and AltFiction Fest, Pegasus Film Festival, among other film festivals as they turned to go virtual instead of canceling.

As the world emerges from the pandemic, Kelly is working on publicity for Pegasus Media Project, Who Needs Sleep Telethon, as well as several films making their ways into the festival circuit and an Amazon series nominated for a Daytime Emmy, #WASHED.

One of Kelly’s specialties is her Media Roundtables. RTs are modified press conferences that turn into conversations and virtual film schools with filmmakers, festival directors and anyone else she happens to be working with at the time. Get a feel for these media roundtables at this YouTube playlist: https://tinyurl.com/KJKPRMediaRoundtables