Government to 'protect' cave story

Government to 'protect' cave story

Members of the Wild Boars rescued from the Tham Luang cave were ordained for nine days as novices, and will return home next week. (AP photo)
Members of the Wild Boars rescued from the Tham Luang cave were ordained for nine days as novices, and will return home next week. (AP photo)

A "creative media" committee, led by the culture minister, is set to be appointed to screen projects to recollect the story of the 13 Wild Boar footballers in flooded Tham Luang cave.

A main task of the committee is to examine all the projects and ensure producers comply with Thai laws during their work, deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Thursday.

As of Thursday, he claimed, 13 producers have queued up for the rights to turn the incident into a range of artistic works ranging from movies, documentaries, novels and computer games.

If they want to film at Tham Luang, they need to ask permission from National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department which oversees the cave in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district.

A request for additional information from the 12 boys and their coach must be also made properly, Mr Wissanu said, worried that the footballers may be contacted and asked to give further interviews through agents.

That will not be a favourable scenario.

Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat will pick the committee members himself before informing the deputy premier of the final member list.

Mr Vira said earlier that five foreign film studios have expressed their interest in telling the story of the rescue operation of the local under-16 football team, but according to Mr Wissanu, the numbers have now increased to 13 with more diverse projects added.

The government also has the potential to make its own version of the story, crafting out the work itself or hiring private companies to do the job, he said.

"We already have the creative media fund. We'll only allocate the budget," Mr Wissanu said.

The 17-day operation to help the 13 footballers who went missing in the flooded cave after their excursion on June 23 involved tremendous efforts from several hundred Thai and foreign rescuers who had to race against time to locate and extract them amid a looming threat of floods and decreasing amount of oxygen.

On Wednesday, twelve members of the team entered their nine-day stint of monkhood to commemorate the help, especially the sacrifice of the ex-Navy Seal officer Lt Cdr Saman Gunan.

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