Kickstart Your Weekend: 'Yakona'

San Marcos River speaks up in forthcoming film


The Fourth of July weekend is starting a little early here at the Austin Chronicle offices, and – be honest – you're probably already mentally halfway to happy hour too. But if there's one last thing that stands a chance of catching your attention on this long weekend Wednesday, it's tubing.

While hundreds of Texans get their tube on in the Comal every summer, there's a cooler, smaller alternative in the San Marcos River, the spring-fed waters that start at the San Marcos Springs, run through the Texas State University campus and downtown San Marcos, wind southeast through Palmetto State Park, and join with the Guadalupe River outside Gonzales. But just as a tubing trip will only show you one mile of the river's 75, it's safe to say whatever your exposure to the river so far, you've never really heard its full story.

Filmmakers Anlo Sepulveda and Paul Collins aim to change that with Yakona.

The film (the title of which translates to "rising water" in a local Native American dialect) was shot over the past two years – partially on grants from the Austin Film Society – yielding a "pure cinema" product that allows the river to speak for itself through its natural beauty. Think "Planet Earth does Central Texas."

But now it's time to make a pretty film even prettier. The team is raising funds on Indiegogo to pay for things like color correction and sound design, both of which will up its chances for acceptance at international film festivals. They've raised upwards of $25,000 of their $40,000 goal so far, but they'll receive every donation pledged when the campaign wraps at the end of Monday, July 8.

Check out their pitch video below to get a look at what they've done so far, hear from the directors and producers, and listen to ringing endorsements from local experts.

Kickstart Your Weekend is a series intended to showcase Texas film and tech projects that are crowdfunding their way to a goal, be it distribution, a prototype, or production costs. If you have a project that we should know about, email us at

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