Thai film company to retell cave rescue saga

AFP
Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018

A Thai-based film company has joined the scramble to retell the dramatic story of the 12 young footballers and their coach who were freed from a flooded cave, one of the producers said Tuesday.

Since the 'Wild Boars' team were extracted from Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand two months ago, there has been a frenzy of media interest in the feel-good tale that captivated the world for weeks.

Documentary makers and Hollywood producers have tussled to get films off the ground, with journalists also spinning book deals from the real-life rescue mission.

A Bangkok production company called De Warrenne Pictures are the latest to agree financing to make their version called "The Cave" with shooting planned for November.

"The project is already set," producer Katrina Grose told AFP, of a movie that will be directed by Tom Waller -- a Bangkok-based filmmaker of mixed Thai-Irish descent.

Source : AFP, The Nation/Asia News Network, Reuters

During a national TV broadcast they smiled, joked and showed solidarity with one another, as they shared details of their traumatic experience inside the flooded Tham Luang cave complex.

During their TV news conference, the boys said when they entered the cave on June 23 they had planned to only be inside the cave for about an hour after football practice.

But a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them.

The boys had no food and survived only on water. They took turns digging at the cave walls, hoping to find a way out.

"This experience made me stronger and taught me not to give up," said the team's youngest member, who goes by the name Titan.

The boys will eventually spend time as novice Buddhist monks to honour the dead diver's memory, their coach said on Wednesday.

The Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital on Saturday released a video clip on its Facebook page showing the 12 Mu Pa (Wild Boar) Academy footballers and their coach thanking everyone for their concern and help in rescuing them. Chanin Wibulrungruang (Titan), 11, said his condition was returning to normal and he would like to eat sushi. He thanked the Navy SEALs for rescuing him and thanked everyone for all the moral support.

They also conveyed that they were in good health and looked forward to tasting their favourite foods. The 12 youths and the coach were seen in a row of beds in the three-minute clip.

Pipat Phothi (Nik), 15, said he felt in good health. He said he would like to eat rice with crisp fried pork, and rice with stew red pork. He thanked the rescuers and everyone for the moral support.

Piraphat Sompiangchai (Night), 16, said he felt in good health and he would like to eat pork pan chabu very much. He thanked everyone for all the moral support.

Adul Sam-on (Dul), 14, said his condition had improved and he would like to go to a KFC shop. He said he was now killing time by drawing pictures of his friends and Coach Ek in the cave.

He also said in English: “I’m Adul. I’m very fine. Thank you for helping us. Thank you very much.”

Ekkapol Chanthawong, 25, or Coach Ek, said he his condition was improving and he now felt strong. He would like to eat fried rice with crisp pork. He said he would like to thank all the people and all the ministries and Navy SEALs as well as the doctors for helping the team.

Pornchai Khamluang (Tee), 16, said he would like to eat fried rice with crisp pork and would like to thank everyone for all the moral support.

Sompong Jaiwong (Pong), 13, said he was strong now. He would like to eat curry basil rice with fried egg. He thanked everyone for all the moral support and thanked the international community for helping the team. “Thank you,” he said in English.

Mongkol Boonpiam (Mark), 13, said he was now strong and could even run. He would like to eat a piece of steak. He thanked everyone for all the moral support and promised to fight on

This handout video grab taken from footage released by The Thai government public relations department (PRD) and Government spokesman bureau on July 11, 2018 shows members of the "Wild Boars" football team being treated at a hospital in Chiang Rai.

The 12 boys rescued from a Thai cave were passed "sleeping" on stretchers through the treacherous passageways, a former Thai Navy SEAL told AFP on July 11, giving the first clear details of an astonishing rescue mission that has captivated the world.

Doctors have said they are in good physical and mental health -- a view backed up by the footage made available by the Thai government showing them behind quarantine glass in bed wearing smocks and facemasks, flashing peace signs and doing the traditional "wai" greeting.

They do not look shell-shocked or stunned despite a potentially harrowing 18 days inside a dank, dark cave followed by a risky rescue operation that was dubbed "Mission Impossible".

A screen grab shows people looking through glass at the boys

The operation to save the boys, who wandered into the cave after a football training session and became stuck as floodwaters surged in, involved expert cave divers from across the world.

They were found after 11 days huddled on a muddy ledge without food or fresh water, floodwaters lapping ominously below them.

An ex-Thai Navy SEAL died in the r un-up to the daring extraction of the group, who were heavily sedated as they were carried, pulled and dragged free from deep inside the cave.

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Initially, after their rescue officials imposed a blanket ban on coverage, fearing for the boys' mental health with the world's media camped up in rural Thailand.

But efforts to shield the team have crumbled with TV networks jostling for interviews and the Thai junta organising a seemingly endless stream of media events.

In one of the most bizarre, last Thursday, the boys were encouraged to crawl through a mock-up tunnel in a recreated cave in a Bangkok megamall, where a zone has been dedicated to the rescue.

ALSO READ: Interactive exhibition on Thai cave rescue mission opens in Bangkok

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