Fresh from the success of its Academy-Award winning Free Solo film, National Geographic has announced its newest documentary, this time on the extraordinary Thai Cave Rescue – a story that gripped the Middle East and the globe for a week in 2018.
National Geographic’s Thai Cave Rescue (working title) brings to life the harrowing story of the Thai soccer team trapped deep inside a flooding cave for over 14 days, and their successful release after many failed attempts.
From Academy Award-winning director Kevin MacDonald and Emmy-winning producer John Battsek (“One Day in September”), National Geographic’s Thai Cave Rescue chronicles the perilous world of cave diving, the bravery of the rescuers and the dedication of an entire community that made great sacrifices to save these young boys.
“This rescue mission is more than just a story of hope, it’s a story of humanity coming together,” said MacDonald. “This film will represent a full 360° view of the crisis, told through unexpected angles and with untold stories.”
The film, which will be aired in the Middle East at the same time as its US release in English and Arabic, brings to light the extraordinary courage of the 12 boys and their assistant coach as they fought for survival, after a cool June afternoon trip in the hilly region of northern Thailand turned into a living nightmare.
It also highlights the imagination and determination displayed during the heroic endeavour. Unlike most diving experiences, in which one relies on a team, once these divers were in the water they were on their own — completely dependent on their gear, always knowing that if it failed, that would be the end.
“The inherent drama of this rescue captured the attention of the world like few recent events have,” explains 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.”