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A documentary about two Thai parents who placed their toddler into cryogenic suspension after she died of a brain tumor won the International Emmy Awards for best documentary this morning. 

Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice by Thai-American director Pailin Wedel won Best Documentary at the 49th International Emmy Awards at a ceremony which took place in New York City.

The movie – in which Pailin was writer, director, and producer – was the first Thai film to win an International Emmy. The other nominees in the category were They Call Me Babu (Netherlands), Cercados (Brazil) and Toxic Beauty (Canada).

The 79-minute documentary that took Pailin and her team five years to make tells the story of a Thai family who made the unorthodox decision to freeze their 2-year-old girl’s brain in an American facility – making her the youngest person ever to be placed in a cryogenic facility in hope of one day reviving her.

The film premiered at the 2019 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, where it was named Best International Feature. Since then, Hope Frozen moved on to dozens more festivals and events before hitting Netflix worldwide in 2019.

Pailin, whose parents are Thai and American, began working at newspapers 16 years ago before embracing video. She spoke to us last year about making Hope Frozen and her views on 16 years working in journalism.

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This article, ‘Hope Frozen’ tale of Thai family freezing toddler wins International Emmy, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.


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