Pailin Wedel talks to us about her Emmy-winning, Netflix-acquired film, Hope Frozen, and her work with Al Jazeera across Southeast Asia. We discuss death, the afterlife, the ecosystem of documentary filmmaking and journalistic work in Southeast Asia, and the power of radical hope.
Pailin Wedel is a journalist and filmmaker best known for directing and producing the documentary Hope Frozen, which started streaming on Netflix in 2020, and is first Thai film to win an International Emmy. It screened at more than twenty festivals worldwide and won Best International Feature at HotDocs in Toronto and Best Documentary Feature at the San Antonio Independent Film Festival, among many other awards.
Other than her documentary work, she regularly reports/directs reportage films for Al Jazeera English’s current affairs program 101 East, including a documentary series on Thailand’s medical tourism industry and the drug trade that passes through Myanmar.
Pailin grew up in Asia and began her career in 2004 as a photojournalist for an American newspaper. She quickly fell in love with video narratives and taught herself how to film video. In her spare time, Pailin teaches short courses on video and mobile journalism. Previously, she worked for multiple publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, and Associated Press.
With her husband, she also founded 2050 Productions, a Bangkok-based documentary team.