Thai filmmaker begins shooting drama of 'Wild Boars' rescue

PHOTO: Facebook/The Cave

Tom Waller, a Thai filmmaker with Irish heritage, has started filming a movie featuring the multinational operation to rescue the “Wild Boars” football team and their deputy coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave in July.

The film, called “The Cave, Nang Non”, captures the tense international efforts to rescue the 13 members of the team, that gripped the world's attention for days.

The youngsters were praised for their bravery throughout their ordeal and rescuers were lauded for their successful life-threatening efforts to reach them.

Thai former marine Saman Kunan lost his life during the mission. 

Waller told foreign media recently: “We want to tell the story of those brave people who selflessly risked their lives to save the boys and their coach. To do it right we need to be as accurate as possible and that is why we are enlisting the help of the real life heroes like Jim [Warny] and bringing him to Shannon Airport to retell his story.”

The film’s Facebook page shows a photo of Thai veteran actor, Nirut Sirijanya, sitting on a chair with the cave in the background.

Nirut is believed to play then Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who commanded the successful rescue operations.

Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network

Filming is to take place in Ireland and Thailand until the end of December and the film is expected to be released next year.

Waller was a producer of independent feature films, with Butterfly Man (2002), Ghost of Mae Nak (2005), The Elephant King (2006) amongst the titles produced through his production company De Warrenne Pictures.

Boys rescued from Thai cave shave heads to prepare to be Buddhist monks

  • Thai boys rescued from deep inside a flooded cave in a dramatic mission had their heads shaved Tuesday before a Buddhist ordination ceremony in honour of a diver who died during the operation.
  • The saga of the "Wild Boars" football team transfixed the world as divers worked to get them out of the Tham Luang cave where they spent up to 18 days.
  • The 12 boys and their coach were sedated and carried through the waterlogged chambers by the divers.
  • After recuperating in hospital for a week they were sent home with clean bills of health.
  • Now eleven of the footballers are preparing to live as novice monks and stay in monasteries for nine days to "make merit" for former Thai Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan, who died while installing oxygen tanks along the rescue route.
  • Their coach will also enter the monkhood as an adult. One player, Adul Sam-on, attended the event but will not be ordained as he is a Christian.
  • Dressed in white robes, the teammates gathered at the Wat Pha That Doi Wao temple in northern Thailand's Mae Sai district.

In 2008, he produced Thomas Clay's Soi Cowboy (2008) which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard.

In 2006, Waller was hired by Sony BMG Thailand to direct the El Nin-YO! music video for Thai-American pop princess Tata Young. Both the song and MV went straight to No.1 on Channel V and MTV charts.

After producing assignments in Thailand on foreign films Bitter/Sweet (2009), Creation (2009) and the The Prince & Me: The Elephant Adventure (2010), Waller decided to return to his passion for directing with Sop-mai-ngeap (2011), his Thai language cinematic directorial debut. The film was nominated for five Thailand National Film Association awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

In addition to directing again, he served as a producer on the English language debut of celebrated Thai director Prachya Pinkaew (Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)) with the Hollywood action thriller Elephant White (2011) starring two-time Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou and Golden Globe winner Kevin Bacon.

Most recently, he produced and directed Petchakat (2014), a biopic on Thailand's last prison executioner, which won the prestigious “Tukkata Tong” or Golden Doll awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, given by the Thai Entertainment Reporters Association. He also served as line producer for the action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), starring Jason Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones, released by Summit Entertainment in 2016.