Taming the Teesta

Taming the Teesta traces India's mighty Teesta River upstream from the plains of West Bengal to its churning headwaters high in the Himalayas. Along the way, the film tells the story of those fighting back against the rampant hydroelectric development taking place along the river's course and exposes the gross injustices done to the region's unique peoples and environment by those who seek to dam the Teesta.

  • Taylor Graham
  • Taylor Graham
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Taylor Graham

Taylor Graham is a multimedia storyteller and social entrepreneur with a lifelong desire to travel and explore the outdoors.

He is a lifelong resident of Durango, Colorado and current student filmmaker. Taylor began filmmaking in the sixth grade, producing a short ski video of his friends at a local ski area, and has loved creating films ever since.

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Director Statement

This past spring, while studying abroad in Jaipur, India, I had the opportunity to combine my love of documentary filmmaking with my passion for protecting our planet’s rivers. I’ve spent my life floating, swimming, fishing and kayaking on the rivers and creeks in Colorado, and when I learned of the terrible cost of the hydroelectric development taking place in Sikkim, I felt like I needed to lend my skills to give the people and river a voice.

During the month-long production of my film, I was inspired by the people I met and places I saw. I cried, got jeeps stuck in the mud, dealt with flat tires, dodged National Hydropower Power Cooperation officials, came down with Dengue Fever for a week, and experienced a violent earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks. I learned more about the world and about the craft of storytelling than I could have possibly imagined.

Water is becoming a scarce commodity as water tables around the world dry up and rivers are dammed and diverted to sustain injudicious and unbridled development. My work on this project has inspired me to play a part in developing solutions for these water crises and for contentions that are sure to erupt around such issues as they grow more severe in the years to come.