National Geographic competes to make Tham Luang rescue documentary

National Geographic has recently contacted the government-appointed Creative Media Committee for the rights to shoot a documentary about last July’s dramatic rescue operation at Tham Luang cave.

British diver Rick Stanton, who was actively involved in the complicated rescue operation to save 12 Wild Guar footballers and their coach, told Thai PBS that the British cave diving team wrote a letter to the guardians of the 12 boys and their coach about their project to shoot a film for National Geographic.

The team says the film would be directed by David McDonald, who won an Oscar for “The Last King of Scotland” and he wants to capture the real story of the dramatic operation, the spirit of international cooperation and the experiences of the 13 who were trapped for almost three weeks.

Mr. Stantan and some members of the production team visited the 13 footballers and their coach earlier this year and were informed about the Creative Media Committee’s selection of two film production houses which had passed the committee’s qualification screening. It was reported that the two companies wanted the movie rights to be granted to only one winner.

Stanton told Thai PBS that, in case the film rights were granted to one production company, National Geographic would not be able to realize its project.

Lt-Gen Veerachon Sukonthapatipark, spokesman of the Creative Media Committee, said he expected the movie rights issue to be concluded next week adding that he was optimistic that the rights would not be granted to just one producer.

The 13 footballers and their coach are represented by the Thirteen Tham Luang Company set up by their parents to handle the commercial benefits from film and book rights.


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