Panel on cards to vet film projects

Panel on cards to vet film projects

Vira Rojpojchanarat, the Minister of Culture, claims the government will have the right to oversee any documentary or film about the rescue of the Wild Boars.
Vira Rojpojchanarat, the Minister of Culture, claims the government will have the right to oversee any documentary or film about the rescue of the Wild Boars.

A national committee is likely to be set up to review any film projects involving the 13 Wild Boars and their cave ordeal, Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said on Thursday.

The setting up of such a committee was agreed at a National Board of Film and Video meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam with the Tham Laung cave rescue having drawn interest from the film industry.

Mr Vira said the meeting initially agreed that the special committee should be established to oversee film and documentary projects about the 17-day search and rescue of 12 young footballers and their coach.

The proposed committee should comprise representatives from various agencies including the Culture, Tourism and Foreign ministries, as well as film experts.

The Culture Ministry plans to ask the cabinet to approve the committee during the weekly cabinet meeting next Tuesday, he said.

Mr Vira appeared unaware that a 60-minute documentary on the rescue of the Wild Boars is to be shown by the Discovery and Science Channels in the US on Friday night.

The documentary is scheduled to be shown next Wednesday in Southeast Asia, including on the Thai-language Discovery channel on pay-TV.

A promo for the schedule Asian broadcasts has been posted to YouTube.

The panel is expected to oversee the production of films or documentaries about the rescue with regard to protecting the rights of the children and their coach.

According to Mr Vira, five foreign film studios have expressed an interest in retelling the story and some have begun scouting locations in the area.

Asked if the government will make its own version, the minister said the proposed committee would consider that.

Meanwhile, Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, the Public Health Ministry's inspector-general, said a team of specialists will visit the group a week after they return home, to assess their mental health.

He said follow-up visits, planned over the course of two years, will take place every month from August to October and then every six months after that.

Representatives from various agencies involved in the Tham Luang rescue operation attended a forum on Thursday to share their experiences to come up with ways to improve and plan responses to similar emergencies. The forum, hosted by the Engineering Institute of Thailand, largely focused on the role of the surface team trying to locate other exits and reduce the water level in the flooded cave.

Chongklai Worapongsathorn, deputy chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said specialists in various fields including geology, excavation, irrigation were drafted in to drain water from the cave.

Sommai Techawal, deputy chief of Department of Mineral Resources and chairman of Geological Society of Thailand, said geologists were under tremendous stress as they raced against time to equip rescue teams with relevant knowledge.

Kobchai Boonyaorana, deputy chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said the rescue operation changed every day as circumstances and obstacles changed.

He said the department has a lot to learn about rescue operations in such extreme conditions, noting its current training programme was mainly geared towards building collapses.

Meanwhile, nine soldiers entered the monkhood Thursday to pay respect to former naval officer Saman Gunan who died on July 6 during the cave rescue.


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