Nat Geo Tackling Thai Cave Rescue in New Doc


National Geographic Documentary Films has given the green light to a feature documentary about the 2018 rescue of a Thai youth soccer team that was trapped within a flooding cave.

From Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September), Thai Cave Rescue (working title) will chronicle the two weeks that the 12 boys and their assistant coach were stuck in the cave as rescuers and the community at large endeavored to save them. It will also explore the dangerous world of cave diving.

The doc will feature exclusive assess to British cave divers Richard Stanton, John Volanthen, Chris Jewell, Jason Mallinson, Connor Roe, Josh Bratchley and Jim Warny, in addition to in-depth interviews with Australian divers Dr. Richard Harris and Craig Challen. A diverse array of local citizens will be interviewed in the feature as well.

Originating with Storyteller Productions and its producers P.J. van Sandwijk and Michael Lesslie, Thai Cave Rescue marks the second production in a long-term strategic partnership between Storyteller Productions and Passion Pictures.

“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-degree view of the crisis, told through unexpected angles and with untold stories.”

Passion Pictures Producer John Battsek said: “The inherent drama of this rescue captured the attention of the world like few recent events have. 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.”

Carolyn Bernstein, executive VP of scripted content and documentary films for National Geographic, added: “I’ve long admired Kevin Macdonald’s artistic vision and virtuosity when it comes to authentic storytelling. I’m elated to be working with him, John Battsek and P.J. van Sandwijk to help audiences better understand the complexities of this captivating story.”