A river’s story

Yako­na, meaning “water rising” in the language of the indigenous people of the San Marcos River in Texas. This multi-award winning film is a visual journey through the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River and its headwaters at Spring Lake, which is home to seven threatened or endangered species. The story takes you from prehistoric times, through the modern era, on an impressionistic journey from the perspective of the river.

While filming, many extraordinary changes occurred surrounding the springs and river, including the removal of the Aquarena Springs theme park, the restoration of Spring Lake and the uncovering of ancient human remains.

We follow the river from source to sea, through the changing seasons, interpreting the river’s time and memory by documenting the relationship between the natural world and humanity. Yakona speaks directly with its beauty while appealing to a higher nature. You begin to understand this is a river that yearns to remain unchanged despite everything that is changing around it.

A film by Paul Collins and Anlo Sepulveda.

A photo posted by Yakona (@yakonafilm) on


A photo posted by Yakona (@yakonafilm) on

Yakona is a multi award winning film. During its 2014-2015 festival circuit it has garnered seven awards including the coveted SXSW Visions Audience Award at its World Premiere in Austin, TX.

List of awards:

  • Visions Audience Award – SXSW Film Festival 2014
  • Best Cinematography Award – Rainier Independent Film Festival 2014
  • Best Documentary Award – Oak Cliff Independent Film Festival 2014
  • Muybridge Cinematography Award – Oak Cliff Independent Film Festival 2014
  • Best Music Award – Blue Ocean Film Festival 2014
  • Special Jury Award – Voices & Visions Environmental Film Festival – 2015
  • Global Insights Stellar Award – Black Maria Film Festival – 2015