BANGKOK - The Thai government is setting up a committee to monitor projects related to the story of the young footballers who were rescued from a flooded cave.
A "creative media" committee, led by Thailand's culture minister, is set to be appointed to screen projects that aim to retell the story of the 13 footballers, Bangkok Post reported on Friday (July 27).
The 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 Kreangam said on Thursday.
As of Thursday, 13 producers have queued up for the rights to turn the incident into a range of artistic works such as movies, documentaries, novels and computer games, he said.
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, according to Bangkok Post.
A request for additional information from the 12 boys and their coach must be also made properly, Mr Wissanu said. He said there are worries that the footballers may be contacted and asked to give further interviews through agents.
Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat will pick the committee members himself before informing the deputy premier of the final member list, the report said.
Mr Vira said earlier that five foreign film studios have expressed their interest in telling the story of the rescue operation, 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 save 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, 12 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.