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Irwin Mitchell Helps Secure Film Deal For Thai Cave Rescue Divers

Oscar Winning National Geographic Documentary Films To Finance Project


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The British divers who last year completed the high profile and dramatic rescue of 12 boys from a cave in Thailand will have their heroic story turned into a feature documentary film - thanks to the help of Irwin Mitchell lawyer Aurelia Butler-Ball.

The divers, who include Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, answered a rescue call from the Thai authorities to join a major search operation after a group of boys and their football coach disappeared in the Tham Luang Nang Non caves last June.

The rescue captured the world’s attention for more than two weeks and culminated in John and Rick successfully reaching the boys on 3 July.

Aurelia Butler-Ball, a senior associate who specialises in media and entertainment law at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, was instructed by Rick, John and five of the other UK divers, to advise and negotiate a deal to turn their stories into a documentary film.

The film is being financed by NatGeo, which recently won the Oscar for ‘Free Solo’. It will be directed by Kevin Macdonald (director of ‘Touching the Void’) and Emmy-winning producer John Battsek.

Commenting on the film, Kevin Macdonald said: “This rescue mission is more than just a story of hope, it’s a story of humanity coming together. This film will represent a full 360-degree view of the crisis, told through unexpected angles and with untold stories.”

The tentatively titled Thai Cave Rescue film will feature never-before-seen footage and exclusive access to British cave divers. It will shine a light on the perilous world of cave diving, the bravery of the rescuers and, through interviews with local citizens, the dedication of an entire community that made great sacrifices to save the young boys.

Aurelia Butler-Ball, who specialises in advising both individuals and businesses working in music, film, TV and digital media, said:

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“This remarkable story was perhaps one of the biggest news stories of last year and there was unsurprisingly huge interest and demand for the rights to the film which focused on this heroic mission.

“The deal is a great outcome for the team of divers and with NatGeo and Kevin on board, I am extremely excited and very much looking forward to seeing the final result.”
Aurelia Butler-Ball, Senior Associate Solicitor