Yakona (2014)

“seeks out the incidental beauties of nature with a keenness that would make Terrence Malick proud…” – Variety

Directed by Anlo Sepulveda and Paul Collins.

Geoff is one of the producers on the film and acted in one of the main roles.

Yakona Official Website


Yako­na, meaning “rising water” in a local Native American language, is a visual journey through the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River and its headwaters at Spring Lake. This film takes the viewer 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 were there to capture these historic changes to the river.

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

Awards & Press

• “makes us question and wonder about the deeper levels of where we are.” – Video Association of Dallas

• “exactly the kind of film SX attendees look for and it will be enjoyed long after the festival ends.” – Miss A

• “seeks out the incidental beauties of nature with a keenness that would make Terrence Malick proud…” – Variety

• “Making a far more effective case for environmental protection than a dozen “Inconvenient Truth” knock-offs…” – Variety

• “Beautiful and at times genuinely profound…” – Paracinema Magazine

• Yakona wins SXSW 2014 Visions Audience Award

• ‘Yakona’ blends images and sounds into a feast of love for the San Marcos River – San Marcos Daily Record

• 8/10 “an astonishingly visual documentary filmmaking technique” – Don Simpson

• “never have I seen these things photographed so beautifully and dramatically” – Texas Highways

• SXSW INTERVIEW – YAKONA – Paul Collins and Anlo Sepulveda -Gadi Elkon

• “a visually stunning piece of ambitious filmmaking…” – Austin 360

• SXSW Daytrip: San Marcos With the ‘Yakona’ Crew – Austin Chronicle

• “is absolutely breathtaking to watch…” – Austin Daze

• 5/5 “it shows a side of life that we don’t see often enough…” – Professor Wagstaff

• SXSW Film Preview: Local Connection

• SXSW 2014 Preview: Twitch Picks 22 Can’t Miss Films

• San Marcos filmmakers to debut documentary at South by Southwest

• 1 of 6 films recommended by SXSW Eco

• SXSW 2014 World Premiere Yakona


BLUE Ocean Film Festival 2014 – St. Petersburg, FL

• October 4
Ambulante California – Los Angeles, CA

• September 26, 29 & October 9
Vancouver International Film Festival

September 28
Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Festival – Bay City, MI

Sidewalk Film Festival – Birmingham, AL

Native Cinema Showcase sponsored by the Smithsonian – Santa Fe, NM

Marfa Film Festival

Oak Cliff Film Festival