Local filmmaker funding documentary | SteamboatToday.com

Local filmmaker funding documentary

Local filmmaker Greg Hamilton, a former producer for Warren Miller Entertainment, has until Nov. 19 for his Kickstarter campaign to help fund his new documentary film, “Power of the River” about a whitewater- and fly-fishing-filled trip down Bhutan's remote Drangme river.

"This marks a step even further in the direction of creative collaboration for the betterment of the planet," said Hamilton. "The cool part about this step is that it involves anyone, from Steamboat and beyond, who wants to help save this river form being dammed."

Hamilton describes the film, to be released next spring, as involving a cast of witty, charming characters adventuring into the unknown with a mission of saving one of the planets wildest, most beautiful places. He organized the trip last spring, with such world-renowned fly fishers as Bryant Dunn, Misty Dhillon and Dave McCoy, spending 25 days crossing Bhutan, culminating with a nine-day float trip down — and with the first-ever fishing access to — the unexplored Drangme River.

“The premise of the movie is simple,” said Hamilton. “In the last of the great Himalayan kingdoms, can fly-fishing keep one river wild and free?”

A synopsis of the film reads: “Even as his countrymen are pulling away from their roots toward the electric lure of the city, Karma “Good Karma” Tshering guides foreigners deep into Bhutan’s wilderness. There, he shares the wisdom of his culture — the very last of the fading Himalayan kingdoms — hoping it’s not too late to rekindle reverence for our planet’s wildest places. Karma hopes to keep one, just one, of his country’s rivers wild and free. A Buddhist, he doesn’t even fish. It’s a dangerous expedition onto unexplored whitewater. He has a wife, a young son and a new baby. So why? And what makes him think he can succeed? In a land founded by a saint who rode a flying tiger, in a place where happiness is a higher goal than money, perhaps anything is possible. Through the exploits of Karma and his hand-picked international expedition team, ‘Power of the River’ will plunge to the heart of what most threatens Earth’s wild spaces—and what will most likely save them.”

"This may be the last of this sort of float trip on the Drangme," Hamilton said. "Current hydropower quotas with India could require damming every last river in Bhutan. We saw dam survey markings and lots of road construction along the river and talked to locals about the ongoing debate in their country over economy versus ecology. Like so many people in the world today, the Bhutanese are trying hard to strike a balance between protecting their natural wonders and exploiting them."

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The river Hamilton's team kayaked, fished and rafted, the Drangme Chhu, is ranked No. 10 on the International rafting Federation's list of “untouched wild rivers.”

"The movie will be fun, rewarding and pretty wild, I promise," said Hamilton. "If you love the majesty of wild nature, travel, adventure, exotic cultures, and great storytelling, please support our crowdfunding campaign.”