San Antonio River subject of documentary

Feature film traces river's history

The San Antonio River is a unique attraction not only in South Texas but across the country and the world.

Once again, it is in the movies. But this time, it is the whole show. 

The river is the subject of a full length documentary ready to be viewed by the public this weekend.

"A lot of folks think it’s just the River Walk (or) just barges and restaurants," said Steven Schauer, with the San Antonio River Authority.

The documentary shows the river is so much more than that.

It covers the history of the river dating back some 12,000 years, with archeological finds during the river's expansion.

It goes through the developmental stages -- like during the 1930s, when one man had a big dream.

“Robert Hugman in the 1930s, and his vision of what the River Walk could be, was so far ahead of his time," Schauer said.

The film also covers the river's present existence and looks into the future.

There is information that many San Antonio residents may not be aware of.

For instance, the river actually originates from springs near Incarnate Word University and Brackenridge Park and flows some 240 miles all the way to the gulf.

The river also has a personality.

“The personality of the river doesn't necessarily mean just the environmental aspect of it," said Adam Stielstra, the director of the documentary.

While he was making the movie, he said he discovered even more personality.

“As you progress downstream, opinion and personalities ... change," Stielstra said. "They vary."

The film also features interviews with people all along the river, from San Antonio to the gulf.

“The river is terrific subject for a documentary,” Stielstra said.

“This is something that our community should be really proud of,” said Schauer.

He said he hopes people will see the film and “appreciate the San Antonio River and appreciate the natural treasure that it is.”

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. on Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Brooks City Base Theatre. It will also be shown at 10 a.m. each day from April 8-11.

The showings are free and open the the public.

For a list of recent stories David Sears has done, click here.


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