Skip to Content

The Rescue, from Free Solo Filmmakers, Sets October Release

On the heels of the world premiere at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival, National Geographic Documentary Films and Greenwich Entertainment announced today that they will release The Rescue, the latest film from Oscar, BAFTA and multiple Emmy Award-winning directing duo E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, exclusively in theaters in October.

Vasarhelyi and Chin also produced the film, along with P.J. van Sandwijk (American Dharma), John Battsek (One Day in September, Searching for Sugar Man), and Free Solo editor Bob Eisenhardt. You can view the trailer and poster by scrolling down.

The Rescue, from Free Solo Filmmakers, Sets October Release

The Rescue brings alive one of the most perilous and extraordinary rescues in modern times, shining a light on the high-risk world of cave diving, the astounding courage and compassion of the rescuers, and the shared humanity of the international community that united to save the boys.

The film chronicles the enthralling, against-all-odds story that transfixed the world in 2018: the daring rescue of 12 boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand.

The Rescue

Academy Award-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin keep viewers on the edge of their seats as they use a wealth of never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews to piece together the high-stakes mission, highlight the efforts of the Royal Thai Navy SEALs and U.S. Special Forces, and detail the expert cave divers’ audacious venture 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 list of Adventurers of the Year; 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; along with in-depth interviews with Australian divers Dr. Richard Harris and Craig Challen.

The film brings to light the common humanity, incredible resilience and absolute morality that defines us as humans.

The Rescue grants viewers exclusive access into the tense meetings, conversations and timeline of events that led to the valiant rescue, seamlessly threading together the tough decisions that needed to be made as the minutes and days mounted and the boys’ chance of survival was at greater stake. In the tradition of their earlier films, Free Solo and Meru, Vasarhelyi and Chin document a profoundly daring physical feat, laying bare the details of the seemingly impossible rescue.

“This powerful story celebrates hope, compassion and human ingenuity when faced with impossible odds,’” said directors E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

“The way in which the divers and Thai community came together in the face of adversity truly represents humanity at its best. We are honored to once again work with National Geographic Documentary Films to shine new light on the unprecedented rescue that riveted audiences around the world.”

The Rescue

“Master storytellers and artistic visionaries, Chai and Jimmy are the dream team to tell this edge-of-your-seat story of grit, courage and cross-cultural collaboration. We are so happy — and feel so lucky — to be working with them again,” said Carolyn Bernstein, EVP of Scripted Content and Documentary Films for National Geographic.

The Rescue is produced by Ventureland’s John Battsek (One Day in September, Searching for Sugar Man) and P.J. 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 Academy Award- and BAFTA-winning film Free Solo, from National Geographic Documentary Films. The film earned the highest per-screen average of any documentary during its opening weekend (Sept. 28, 2018). The award-winning documentary took home seven Emmy awards in 2019.

Vasarhelyi’s films, as a 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, premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals), A Normal Life (Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary 2003) and Touba (SXSW Special Jury Prize Best Cinematography 2013).

Chin is a professional climber, skier, mountaineer, 20-year member of The North Face Athlete Team and National Geographic Explorer. Consistently over the past 20 years, Chin has led or participated in cutting-edge climbing and ski mountaineering expeditions to all seven continents and made the first and only American ski descent from the summit of Mount Everest. He is also a filmmaker and National Geographic photographer.

He has worked with many of the greatest explorers, adventurers and athletes of our time, documenting their exploits in the most challenging conditions and locations in the world. 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 shortlisted for an Oscar.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links through which we earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.