Director Pailin Wedel Talks About Her Film ‘Hope Frozen’ [Season 3, Episode 67]

2019-07-08T21:38:54+07:00July 10th, 2019|Bangkok Podcast Season 3, Interviews|2 Comments

A bit of self-promotion first – we’re happy to see that the Bangkok Podcast was chosen as one of 2019’s top 25 expat podcasts over at Feedspot. A great honor! Now to the show…

Greg and Ed are psyched to sit down with Pailin Wedel, a Thai-American journalist and filmmaker based in Bangkok, about her new film “Hope Frozen.” Pailin talks a bit about her background as a journalist making short documentary pieces for Al Jazeera and other news outlets. Her new film, however, sprang from a chance meeting with a Thai family suffering an extraordinary tragedy. In brief, the young daughter of a very scientifically-minded Thai family was suffering from terminal cancer, and the family made the decision to ‘cryo-preserve’ their daughter in the hopes that she could possibly be revived in the future with superior technology. 

Pailin saw the opportunity to tell a unique story, and luckily the family agreed to be filmed. What ensued was a more than two year process of following the family through the twists and turns of this nightmare scenario, including sometimes unflattering coverage in the Thai media. Pailin relates the tale of making the film and the multiple cultural and religious questions raised by the family’s decisions. She details not only the family’s struggles, but also her own fight to find adequate funding to do the story justice. 

The story of ‘Hope Frozen’ reached an incredible (and thoroughly unexpected) climax when the film won the highest award at North America’s largest documentary film festival, HotDocs. Listen in for Pailin’s first hand account of discovering and telling this amazing story, and make sure to follow its continuing journey on the Hope Frozen Facebook page.

As always, the podcast will continue to be 100% funded by listeners just like you who get some special swag from us. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.


  1. Sandy Hanutsaha October 17, 2019 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I’m so glad I listened to your podcast, the very first I’ve ever listened to from beginning to end. You guys had me hooked. I found out about your podcast from the Neilson Hays Library newsletter promoting Pailin’s film screening at the upcoming Neilson Hays Library literary festival in November 2019. I’m very excited for Pailin and her possible Oscar nomination and hope to be able to catch her documentary at the festival. I was also delighted to see Ed Knuth who probably doesn’t remember me. We were both teachers at The Princeton Review (Thailand) so many years ago. Loved the portion about Thai soap operas. I absolutely agree with everything you said. I never watch them but when I do happen to see one, perhaps at the hospital while waiting to see my doctor, I always see the very common scene of a woman who appears to be the villain screeching or slapping the female lead, or something to that effect. I guess some things never change. I have to sign off now but want to say again I had a great time listening to you both.

    • Greg October 17, 2019 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      Hey Sandy, thanks! This is Greg, but Ed does indeed remember you. I haven’t seen Hope Frozen yet, but really want to, it sounds amazing. Hope I can handle it. Thanks for listening, hope you’ll be back – season 4 is going to be awesome. 🙂

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