'Pad Yatra' Director's Journey Turns Personal

Wendy Lee's volunteer work leads to filming a quest to save the Earth's third pole.

'Pad Yatra' chronicles the journey of 700 people across the Himalayas on a quest to save Earth’s third pole.

Pad Yatra Film

When director Wendy Lee debuted her stylish documentary "Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey" at the 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival, she never anticipated the warm reception it would receive.

“It’s been incredible,” Lee said, “At our first public screening we got a standing ovation. The Q&A went on quite long and it was just a really engaged audience.”

Pad Yatra chronicles the journey of 700 people across the Himalayas on a quest to save Earth’s third pole, which is a glacial region that is rife with symptoms of global warming. Along the way, the trekkers encounter a number of life-changing events, including the discovery of human remains from explorers who never made it as far as they, as well as animals that lost their lives due to extreme climate change and other natural causes.

As a participant in the mission – along with her sister – Lee detailed the hardships faced while filming, but also demonstrated the importance of restorative human interaction with the planet.

The documentary is produced by Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and narrated by actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah. Hannah’s years-long dedication to issues affecting nature and sustainability was integral to the tone of the film.

“Daryl is a huge champion for environmental issues,” Lee said. “Even when we were doing the voiceover, there was a part when she just added information that she knew about the topic. It was really a nice collaboration.”

Lee’s own connection to the region led to telling its harrowing story.

“I had been volunteering in the Himalayas for many years. I had just graduated from [USC] film school. I thought this would be a really fun project to make a short film about and it wound up becoming a feature,” Lee said.

As for the message the director hopes viewers will take away from Pad Yatra, it’s one predicated less on extolling the virtues of green living and focused more on goodwill.

“I feel like the takeaway from this film isn’t the instruction manual for what we should be doing.” she said. “We all know about recycling and sustainability. It’s that what we do can and will make a difference.”

For more information on "Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey", visit the film’s website at www.padyatrafilm.com

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Deap Vally Weaves its Way to Music Stardom

Currently working on its second album with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner, Deap Valley will join Fool’s Gold and Crystal Skulls and play Ace Hotel & Swim Club’s 2015 New Years Eve bash on Dec. 31.

Palm Springs International Film Festival Offers Contest Incentives

The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival has partnered with sponsors Alaska Airlines and Vacation Palm Springs to launch two travel contests inviting festival goers to “Go Away” and “Come Back.”

Steve Carrell, Chris Rock to Receive Accolades at Variety Brunch

In addition to celebrating the work of its "10 Directors to Watch," Variety will use its annual brunch during the Palm Springs International Film Festival to honor actor Steve Carell, director and actor Chris Rock, and director Rob Marshall.

The Palm Springs Hotel Reflects History, Design of Yesteryear

The Palm Springs Hotel, a renovated 1950s property, is a striking mix of midcentury modern meets industrial chic with a bit of European flair. Think clean lines, ceramic tiles, and adorable Parisian inspired cafe tables.

Happy 2015!

Ring in the new year at a party that suits your style. 3, 2, 1 ... Cheers!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Edit ModuleShow Tags