Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice–Directed by Palin Wedel (Women in Film, Docu)

Palin Wedel (Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice)

Pailin Wedel
Courtesy of Subject
Pailin Wedel

Thai American filmmaker Wedel had worked as journalist in Southeast Asia for more than 15 years before making her feature debut with Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice.

“As a reporter, I’m often covering things in Thailand like political turmoil and human rights abuses,” she says, “but after doing that work for so long, I wanted to also tell stories that allowed Thai people to connect with the wider world rather than being othered.”

Hope Frozen follows a young Thai couple, accomplished scientists and also practicing Buddhists, who decide to have their 3-year-old daughter’s body cryogenically preserved after she dies tragically of brain cancer.

The film touches upon questions of faith in science versus religion– but it was praised as a deeply relatable and inspiring portrait of family’s passage through grief.

After screening at more than 20 festivals, the film was picked up by Netflix, which offered Wedel resources to shoot and edit some additional sequences ahead of a worldwide streaming premiere in September 2020.

The feature won the Best International Documentary Feature, at HotDocs 2018

She was inspired by “Themes of faith, trauma and the clash between the East and the West,” says Wedel.

Next Wedel continues producing freelance video journalism for The New York TimesNational Geographic and The Washington Post and has several feature documentary projects in development at her production banner, 2050 Productions.