THAI cave rescue film premieres at Busan. 'The Cave' retells the story of 12 boys, coach trapped inside.

The film centered on the cave rescue of 12 Thai schoolboy footballers and their coach made its world premier over the weekend and there was one man in the audience for whom the experience proved as thrilling as it was nerve-shredding.

''You can't help but re-live the tension and the fear we were feeling, but also, there was the sense of excitement and relief when it was all over,'' rescuer Jim Warny told AFP.

The Ireland-based Belgian was among the crew of international cave rescue divers who plucked the  ''Wild Boars'' and their coach from the Tham Luang nang Non caves last year and he has traveled to the 24th Busan International Film Festival for the world premier of the fittingly titled THE CAVE.

Warny plays himself in the film and said the experience of filming had been therapeutic.

''For me, it's about inspiring other people to show that great things can be achieved, against the odds,'' he said. ''Physically, I was back at work on Tuesday after I returned on Sunday. But it took six months to come to terms with it and I worked through a lot of it during filming too.''

Directed by Irish-Thai film-maker Tom Waller, the film is the first in what is expected to be a rollout of big and small screen treatments of the story that gripped the world for the 18 days the group was trapped underground.

Waller's film puts its focus more on the rescue effort than on the kids and the teacher who were trapped.

''There was a lot of detail of the rescue that the world hadn't really been told about, like the sedation of the kids and the background of the rescuers,'' he said.

''Sure there was the rescue, but how? i wanted to tell the story of the people who weren't on YouTube.''

''This time everything worked. It was surreal experience when we held them. That they were all alive was incredible and a true testament to their bravery. I think it is a story that should just keep being told and this film helps do that.''

THE CAVE is set for release in Thailand on November 28, with further international markets to follow. [The Express Tribune].


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