WASHINGTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – On the heels of the world premiere at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival, National Geographic Documentary Films and Greenwich Entertainment today announced the release THE RESCUE, Oscar’s last film®, BAFTA and several Emmy® Award-winning director duo E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin hit theaters in October. Vasarhelyi and Chin also produced the film, with PJ van Sandwijk (“American Dharma”), John Battsek (“One Day in September”, “Searching for Sugar Man”), and FREE SOLO editor-in-chief Bob Eisenhardt.
THE RESCUE, which critics have called “heartbreaking”, “exciting” and “truly amazing” after its premiere in Telluride, brings to life one of the most perilous and extraordinary rescues of modern times, shining a light on the world at the high risk of cave diving, the incredible courage and compassion of the rescuers, and the shared humanity of the international community who came together to save the boys.
The cinematographic chronicles the exciting and unexpected story that turned the world upside down in 2018: the daring rescue of 12 boys and their trainer from the depths of a flooded cave in northern Thailand. Academy Award®Award-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin keep viewers on the edge of their seats as they use a host of never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews to piece together the high-stakes mission, highlighting the efforts of The Royal Thai Navy SEALs and US Special Forces, and details the daring adventure of expert cave divers to save the boys.
The film features interviews with critical rescue and support teams, including British cave divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, named to National Geographic’s 2019 Adventurer of the Year list; Colonel Bhak Loharjun, the chief medical officer of the Royal Thai Army; Thanet Natisri, a groundwater expert based in Thailand at the time of the rescue; additional cave divers Chris Jewell, Jason Malison, Connor Roe, Josh Bratchley and Jim Warny; as well as in-depth interviews with Australian divers Dr Richard Harris and Craig Challen. The film highlights the common humanity, incredible resilience and absolute morality that define us as humans.
THE RESCUE grants viewers exclusive access to the tense meetings, conversations and timeline of events that led to the valiant rescue, seamlessly chaining the tough decisions that needed to be made as the minutes and days climbed and that the boys’ chances of survival were at stake. In the tradition of their previous films, FREE SOLO and “Meru,” Vasarhelyi and Chin document a deeply daring physical feat, laying bare the details of the seemingly impossible rescue.
“This powerful story celebrates hope, compassion and human ingenuity in the face of impossible obstacles,” said directors E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. “The way divers and the Thai community have come together in the face of adversity truly represents humanity at its best. We are honored to be working again with National Geographic Documentary Films to shed new light on the unprecedented rescue that captivated audiences around the world. ”
“Master storytellers and artistic visionaries, Chai and Jimmy are the dream team to tell this story of guts, courage and intercultural collaboration. We are so happy – and we feel so lucky – to be working with them again, ”said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of scripted content and documentaries for National Geographic.
THE RESCUE is produced by John Battsek of Ventureland (“One Day in September”, “In Search of Sugar Man”) and PJ van Sandwijk (“American Dharma”) of Storyteller Productions. For National Geographic Documentary Films, Carolyn Bernstein is executive producer.
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin are the co-directors and co-producers of the Oscar-winning and BAFTA-winning film FREE SOLO, from National Geographic Documentary Films. The film achieved the highest screen average of any documentary on its opening weekend (September 28, 2018). The award-winning documentary won seven Emmy Awards in 2019. Vasarhelyi’s films, as director, include “Meru” (Oscar shortlist 2016, Sundance Audience Award 2015), “Incorruptible” (Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award 2016), “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love” (Oscilloscope 2009, premiere at the Telluride and Toronto Festivals), “A Normal Life” (Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary 2003) and “Touba” (SXSW Jury Special Prize Best Cinematography 2013).
Chin is a professional climber, skier, mountaineer, 20-year member of The North Face and National Geographic Explorer athletic team. For the past 20 years, Chin has led or participated in advanced climbing and ski mountaineering expeditions to all seven continents and has made the first and only American ski descent from the summit of Mount Everest. He is also a National Geographic filmmaker and photographer. He has worked with many of the greatest explorers, adventurers and athletes of our time, documenting their exploits in the world’s most difficult conditions and places. His 2015 documentary “Meru,” co-directed by Vasarhelyi, won the Audience Award at Sundance and was nominated for Best Documentary by the DGA and PGA. “Meru” was also selected for an Oscar.
National Geographic Documentary Films has previously released the film Academy Award, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award FREE SOLO and the Oscar nominated film THE CAVE. Other critically acclaimed films under the banner include Ron Howard REBUILDING THE PARADISE; Sundance Audience Award Winners EXPO-SCIENCES and SEA OF SHADOWS; Emmy Winners LA 92 and JEANNE, who were both included in the 15 best documentaries considered for an Oscar in 2017; and winner of the Dupont Prize HELL ON EARTH: THE FALL OF SYRIA AND THE RISE OF ISIL.
About National Geographic Documentaries
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to delivering world-class documentary feature films that cover topical, provocative and globally relevant stories from the world’s best documentary makers. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society. Advancing knowledge and understanding of our world has been National Geographic’s primary focus for 133 years, and now we’re committed to doing more, pushing boundaries, going deeper for our consumers … and reaching millions. of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do. NGP donates 27% of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com Where nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Greenwich Entertainment
Founded in 2017, Greenwich Entertainment is an independent film distribution company specializing in theatrical-quality distinctive narrative and documentary feature films. In 2018, Greenwich handled the theatrical release of Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi, the Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo,” which grossed more than $ 17 million at the North American box office. In 2019, Greenwich released two of the year’s biggest documentary hits with Andrew Slater’s “Echo in the Canyon” ($ 3.4 million) and Linda Ronstadt: “The Sound of My Voice” (4.3 million dollars) from Oscar winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. . Recent narrative releases include “The Bookshop” by Isabel Coixet with Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy and “Wild Nights with Emily” by Madeleine Olnek with Molly Shannon. Upcoming releases include “Not Going Quietly” by Nicholas Bruckman and “The Capote Tapes” by Abs Burnough. Greenwich is led by an experienced management team who have overseen over 150 theatrical releases generating over $ 100 million at the US box office and garnering 8 Oscar nominations and 2 Oscars. www.GreenwichEntertainment.com
Ventureland is an independent production company founded by John Battsek and his partners Kerstin Emhoff, Ali Brown and Paul Hunter.
Beginning in 1999 with Oscar-winning “One Day in September,” which he designed and produced, Battsek has since produced some of the most acclaimed documentaries of recent years. Some of the most notable titles include “Searching for Sugar Man”, Oscar and BAFTA winner, “Restrepo”, Oscar nominee, “The Imposter”, BAFTA winner, “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars ”, winner of Peabody and“ Listen to Me Marlon ”, nominated for the BAFTAs,“ Winter on Fire ”nominated for the Oscars and“ Hillsborough ”, winner of the BAFTA Award. Together, Battsek and Emhoff produced Emmy Award winning “The Tillman Story” and Emmy Award winning “Manhunt: The Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden”.
Some of Ventureland’s recent work include double Emmy-winning “Rising Phoenix” (Netflix), “Ready for War” (Showtime) and the critically acclaimed biopics “Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In” (Amazon, Universal Pictures ) and “Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story” (CNN FILMS, AGC, THE BBC). Ventureland is also set to release “Chaplin” (Showtime, Film4, BFI) of the double BAFTA nominees James Spinney and Peter Middleton, which will feature its world premiere at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival.
Ventureland is currently in production on films at iconic Abbey Rd Studios directed by Mary McCartney, former world No. 1 tennis player Boris Becker directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and a five-part series for Netflix directed by BAFTA Award winner Daniel Gordon.