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yakonaYakona, meaning “rising water” from the local native american language,  is the first documentary style film (by filmmakers Paul Collins & Anlo Sepulveda) I’ve seen at SXSW. Unfortunately I was unable to stick around afterward for the Q&A.

Yakona is about the San Marcos River and is absolutely breathtaking to watch, but There is practically zero dialogue in Yakona with a runtime over an hour. Visually Yakona is gorgeous and should keep your attention with this alone, showcasing the various creatures that inhabit and surround the flowing river. It’s less of a documentary and more of a visual odyssey the likes of something one might find on National Geographic. Yakona seems to be filmed with crystal clear high-def cameras exploring the underwater wonderland, with dramatized scenes intermittently thrown in depicting the native americans from the area battling what seem to be white frontiersmen. Yakonas visuals are accompanied by, an at times harrowing symphonic score, by Justin Sherburn. His score beautifully builds as the viewers watch the rich rivers history and present conditions. This film seems to also be focused on educating the public about the potentially perilous future for the San Marcos River (construction and pollution alike), but thanks to the filmmakers and the good people of San Marcos, it seems to be in good hands.

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