Documentary Film Screening:
The Shepherdess of the Glaciers


With Filmmaker Stanzin Dorjai-Gya

Introduction by Linda Cortright
Editor and Publisher of Wild Fibers magazine

Q&A Post-Film with Stanzin and Local Ranchers John Helle & John Peavey

Friday, October 6, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Sun Valley Opera House, Sun Valley


Online registration begins Saturday, July 1 and runs through Thursday, October 5 at 11:59 pm.
Registration at Limelight Hotel Ketchum (Festival Headquarters) Friday, October 6 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm or at the Sun Valley Opera house starting at 6:00 pm until sold out.


For the 21st Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, we are bringing in Stanzin Dorjai-Gya as the presenter for our Friday night Sheep Tales Gathering.  Stanzin and Christiane Mordelet created a documentary film centered on a shepherdess (Stanzin’s sister) who herds sheep and cashmere goats in the High Himalayas titled “Shepherdess of the Glaciers.”

“On a rock-strewn mountain, 5,000 meters high in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, lives shepherdess Tsering with her flock of 250 sheep and cashmere goats. We follow Tsering’s solitary movements over a year, from her home village to the high plateaus where she acts as midwife to her goats, warms batteries on a cooking pot and occasionally sings to herself and the surrounding landscape. Her only access to events in the outside world is via a small transistor radio and she daily faces the troubling presence of wolves and a snow leopard. Having turned 40, Tsering now finds the pastoral life physically challenging, whilst climate change is endangering her livestock. Packed with stunning images of the Gya-Miru Valley, “The Shepherdess of the Glaciers” reveals the ancestral wisdom of those Ladakhi shepherds whose environment and livelihoods are under severe threat.”

Co-director Stanzin Dorjai Gya is the brother of The Shepherdess of the Glaciers’ protagonist, Tsering. They shared the same hard life until, at age 14, Stanzin went to study in Delhi. He has previously directed Living with Change: Voices from Ladakh (2009) and co-directed Migchoou (2008). Stanzin now lives in Leh, Ladakh, and makes frequent trips to France to lecture and present his films.

Stanzin and Christiane’s previous collaborations include Land of Summits (2009), What We May Have Lost (2012) and Jungwa: The Broken Balance (2012).

Awards for this film include: Visions Du Reel 2016: International Premiere International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala 2016: Special Jury Mention (Long Documentary); and, after BANFF from Canada, “The Shepherdess of the Glaciers” Won the Best Documentary Award of CINEMATHEQUEMONTAGE at GAP.

For the Festival’s Sheep Tales Gathering, we will be at the Sun Valley Opera House to screen the film and then conduct a Question & Answer Session with Stanzin.  The evening will be moderated by Linda Cortright. Linda is the
editor and publisher of Wild Fibers Magazine.  In addition to publishing the magazine, she offers multiple tours annually connecting travelers with wild fibers and remarkable people around the world through adventurous and thoughtful trips.  Linda has coordinated bringing Stanzin to the US in Fall 2017 and his participation in the Trailing of the Sheep Festival is a centerpiece of this visit.

Listen to Stanzin below describe why he chose to make this film.



This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.