THE FILM

POWER of the RIVER: Expedition to the Heart of Water in Bhutan

An adventure from the last Himalayan kingdom. Home to the world’s most ambitious commitment to protect nature, Bhutan faces urgent pressure to dam every river. A man named “Good Karma” guides an expedition to keep his country’s mightiest river free.

8 festival selections

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Official Music Video

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Theatrical Trailer

Our official teaser, edited by Jocelyne Chaput:

Film Synopsis

An all-Bhutanese river crew guides a first-ever flyfishing descent of a “top-10 wild and untouched river” (International Rafting Federation). Cultural encounters across this tiny Buddhist kingdom lead to exhilarating cinematography from prayer-flag mountain passes to rafts and kayaks navigating uncharted Class IV+ whitewater. The visiting international expedition team encounters a country at a crossroads: hailed for conservation even as it faces pressure to dam every river.

Pursuing an endangered “fish of kings,” the anglers and their guides must strike a balance between bringing attention to the wildness of our planet—and “loving it to death” as angler Dave McCoy says. The film is one of the first feature documentaries to embody cutting edge #keepfishwet principles as it gives voice to the perspectives of Bhutan’s own hearts and minds, including Dasho Benji, the country’s “godfather of conservation.”

Grammy-winning music from Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn and an original score by Stefan Smulovitz lend fitting musical magic to the journey of a lifetime. 

Expedition Overview & Team

  • 25 days crossing Bhutan, including a nine-day float trip.
  • First-ever fishing access to an unexplored river.
  • An international team hailing from Bhutan to Seattle, New Delhi to New York.
  • Logged more than 80 hours footage and another 25 hours field audio.

Dasho BenjiDasho Paljor J. Dorji “Dasho Benji”
Special Advisor, Bhutan Environment Commission

KarmaKarma Tshering
Bhutanese Wilderness Expert

MistyMisty Dhillon
Expert on Target Species

Bryant Dunn Bryant Dunn
Expedition Leader

Dave McCoy Dave McCoy
Conservationist and Flyfishing Guide

Andre CorpuzJean-André Corpuz
Featured Angler, Globetrotting Adventurer

Creative Team

Greg
Greg I. Hamilton
Writer, Director, Producer

Matthew Matthew Whalen
Director of Photography

Paco
Paco Penjore
Second Unit Camera

Stefan
Stefan Smulovitz
Original Score Composer

Andy
Andy Danylchuk, Ph.D.
Associate Producer: Science and Conservation

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Power of the River endorsed by Robert Redford