The Shepherdess of the Glaciers
  • Jack
Sequoia 1Fri, May 12 6:30 PM Not Available
Rafael 2Sat, May 13 6:30 PM Not Available
Film Info
Section:The Great Outdoors
Running Time:74 min.
Premiere Status:US
Director:Stanzin Dorjai Gya
Christiane Mordelet
Producer:Colette Magne
Gilles Magne
Screenwriter:Stanzin Dorjai Gya
Christiane Mordelet
Cinematographer:Stanzin Dorjai Gya
Editor:Aurélie Jourdan
Note Writer:Frako Loden

A smiling woman of uncertain age tends her 300 sheep and pashmina goats in the 16,500-foot elevations of Ladakh, a district in remote northern India that is culturally closer to Tibet. Tsering is the titular shepherdess, one of the few remaining (of any gender) who stays alone with her grazing animals for months at a time in the beautiful but harsh Gya-Miru Valley. Her only companion is a transistor radio that provides information on keeping her animals healthy but is also handy for scaring away snow leopards and wolves. Still, one undeterred predator can do great damage: In tears, Tsering describes a leopard that jumped into her lambs' pen, killing 60 of them. Tsering is her animals' trusty protector as she feeds, bathes, cuddles and naps among them in moments of sheer adorableness and humor. But that gentleness belies an underlying mental toughness and self-confidence—an attitude we could all benefit from in our more comfortable lives.

In Person: Directors Maya Craig, Seth Hahn (Jack, May 12)

Included Shorts
Jack (3min) More
Additional Information

Stanzin Dorjai Gya is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who was born, raised and still resides in the tiny village of Gya in Ladakh, a remote part of northern India in the Trans-Himalayan mountain desert. He graduated with a Bachelors of Arts from Jammu University, and in 2000 worked on his first feature film, Tsondus, as editor, executive producer and cinematographer. In 2006 he co-founded the Himalayan Film House in Leh, and in 2007 the studio produced their first film, Migchoo. His 2012 documentary Jungwa: The Broken Balance won the Special Jury Award at the Mountain International Film Festival in Autrans, France. His latest film, Shepherdess of the Glaciers, has won numerous awards including the Grand Prize at the 2016 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Christiane Mordelet has lived in Ladakh for more than six months each year for nearly a decade. She is fully integrated into Ladakh life and has been making documentaries for over 20 years. She is also active in an aid-and-trade association with Mongolia and Ladakh.