SA River Authority’s First Film Festival Kicks You In The Butt And Then Tugs At Your Heartstrings.

SA River Authority’s First Film Festival Kicks You In The Butt And Then Tugs At Your Heartstrings.


photo1photo1SARA (San Antonio River Authority) wants you to recognize, yes recognize, the value of our river.  Last night’s Inaugural Environmental Film Fest by the San Antonio River Authority was free, open to the public, and graciously hosted by Wonderland of the America’s Santikos Bijou theatre.   Environmental organizations including the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club, Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio River Foundation, and the Wild & Scenic Festival kicked off the event with booth exhibits.  Steven Schauer of SARA, emceed the film portion of the event.  Some of the short films presented during the film festival included: CascadaHidden Rivers of Southern AppalachiaMy First Fish, and Restoring Hope; each told love stories about water.

my first fish

Cascada cinematically displayed the adventures of a team of kayakers letting themselves be hurled over waterfalls in Mexico, repeatedly, in slow motion.  I couldn’t help but appreciate the magnificence of the waterfalls and the exhilaration of being thrown off of a cliff and then think to myself, “man, that looks like fun.”

My first fish  tells the short story of a boy who goes fishing at a river with his Dad for the first time.  Again, the enthusiasm of this adorable child captured my heart and I fell in love with fishing and the river right along with him.


Through SARA’s feature film, Sustaining and Enriching Life in South Texas: The Story of the San Antonio River, they chronicle the history of the San Antonio River from the prehistoric age to our very modern developments and beautification projects.  Soon after the history draws you in, SARA reminds you that everything we do in San Antonio on our property (both public and private) will be washed into our river by rain: motor oil spills, battery acid, and medications flushed down the toilet, to name just a few careless examples.  I left with this message: water is life.  It is something you know at a visceral level and revisit during interpretations of literature in school.  With all the innovations of modern technology that we enjoy daily, it is so easy to disconnect from a basic reality:   through the wonders of plumbing, our river is pumped into our homes to drink, wash our bodies and clothes, water our yards, and – yes – even use the restroom with.  The San Antonio River, the lifeblood of our city, has attracted people to our region for 10,000 years.  It originates from a spring called the Blue Hole on the University of Incarnate Word’s campus and runs all the way out to San Antonio Bay (yeah, we have a bay!).


photo3      photo3San Antonio Bay Map Screen Shot


The linear park along the San Antonio River already has much beauty to enjoy and activities to engage in (besides getting drunk on the River Walk!).  Once the Mission Reach of the River Walk is complete, in approximately a year, the 15-mile stretch from Brackenridge Park to Mission Espada will allow locals and visitors to enjoy hiking, walking, biking, canoeing and kayaking along the river.  The northern expansion of the river is so attractively landscaped these days you can appreciate it any number of ways: go for a jog, walk your dog, hang out with friends, or go on a romantic stroll with your special someone (or maybe even try getting your special someone in a paddleboat).

SA River walk


SARA will be accepting submissions for next year’s event!  Contact SARA for details.


Written by:
Kristin Sramek, M.A.
Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee, District 6 Appointee


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June 20th, 2014