National Geographic Documentary Films has greenlit a feature documentary film on last year’s news-making Thai cave rescue from Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald and Emmy-winning producer John Battsek.
The tentatively titled Thai Cave Rescue is set to chronicle the June 2018 rescue mission for Thailand’s Wild Boars youth soccer club after the 12 boys and their assistant coach became trapped in a flooding system of underground caves. The ensuing rescue efforts captured the world’s attention for more than two weeks.
Through never-before-seen footage and exclusive access to British cave divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, among others, the film will shine a light on the perilous world of cave diving, the bravery of the rescuers and, through interviews with local citizens, the dedication of an entire community that made great sacrifices to save the young boys.
The film is directed by Macdonald (pictured, left) and produced by Battsek (right) alongside producer P.J. van Sandwijk and executive producer Michael Lesslie of Storyteller Productions.
Thai Cave Rescue marks the second production in a long-term strategic partnership between Storyteller Productions and Battsek’s Passion Pictures.
“This rescue mission is more than just a story of hope, it’s a story of humanity coming together,” said Macdonald in a statement. “This film will represent a full 360-degree view of the crisis, told through unexpected angles and with untold stories.”
“The inherent drama of this rescue captured the attention of the world like few recent events have,” added Battsek. “As producers, for P.J. and I to now have the opportunity to tell this remarkable story in partnership with the team at National Geographic Documentary Films, who have been responsible for some of the most successful and impactful feature documentaries of recent times, is extremely exciting.”
The announcement from National Geographic Documentary Films comes on the heels of the success of Free Solo, which last month won the Academy Award for best documentary feature.