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Filmmaker presents screening of “The Unforeseen”

By Jessica Sinn
University News Service
August 29, 2007

Award-winning filmmaker Laura Dunn will present her first feature film “The Unforeseen” 8 p.m. Sept. 11 at Sewell Park on the campus of Texas State University-San Marcos.

The documentary, executive produced by Terrence Malick and Robert Redford, is a sobering look at urban sprawl and how it is rapidly depleting the natural resources in Central Texas, including the fragile Edwards Aquifer. 

The film will be projected on an outdoor movie screen, provided by the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow.  The screen will be set up on a sloping river bank, where viewers can gaze across the spring-fed water on picnic blankets and portable lawn-chairs.  After the screening, Dunn will answer questions about her film. 

The screening is sponsored by the Common Experience program at Texas State and is free and open to the public.

Common Experience Co-Chair Pam Wuestenberg said the movie event is highly relevant to this year’s Common Experience theme: Water.  Wuestenberg said the event will provide an opportunity for new students to make new friends, and to gain an appreciation for the unique natural resources in San Marcos.    

“We tell our students that we’re the only university in the nation that has a spring-fed lake and river running through the campus--and what a gift,” Wuestenberg said.  “It’s a huge point of pride for all students and all community members.”   

The film, which recently premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, is now screening before the general audience at select theaters.  Aquarena Center Director Ron Coley said he encourages students to take advantage of this rare opportunity. 

“I believe this is the most important documentary that’s been filmed in Austin in the last 10 years,” Coley said.  “This is the first time this film has been shown in this format, and to have it presented this way on our campus is an incredible honor.” 

The 93 minute documentary, filmed primarily in Austin, provides an in-depth portrayal of the deteriorating aquifer which feeds the landmark swimming pool Barton Springs.  Coley said he hopes the movie will spread awareness among students and San Marcos community members. 

“It’s important for everybody who lives in this part of Texas, to be aware of what the story reveals,” Coley said.  “All of these springs are interconnected, so we are really going to have to make some decisions about our future to keep from experiencing the same melodrama that occurred in Austin.”   

Coley said he hopes the film will inspire students to take action and start thinking of methods to preserve and protect the natural environment in Central Texas. 

“If this movie doesn’t make you want to get out and do everything you can to protect San Marcos springs, than you need to have your pulse checked,” Coley said.