Writer/Director Tom Waller flanked by cave rescue divers Erik Brown (left) and Jim Warny (who spoke at the Dive Show hosted by Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club in Nenagh last March) at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October.

Irish premiere of Dromineer-directed film about Thailand cave rescue

A film about the awe-inspiring rescue of a group of young children from a cave in Thailand will premiere in Ireland this weekend.

'The Cave' is directed by Tom Waller, whose family hails from Dromineer. Among those to feature in the film is Jim Warny, the Clare-based rescue diver who enthralled a packed attendance at the Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh earlier this year when he was guest speaker at Dive Ireland International Expo.

Bangkok-born Tom Waller is the owner and director of De Warrenne Pictures Ltd, one of Thailand's leading film production companies. His ancestors were key figures in Lough Derg Yacht Club over the generations.

Still regularly returning to these parts, Tom recalls spending summers growing up by the lake with his grandparents, Hardress and Lygia Waller. Hardress, who was known as Brigadier 'Sam' Waller, was a commodore of the yacht club. He was also a senior steward of the Turf Club running the Curragh Racecourse.

Tom's great-grandfather, Edgar Hardress Waller, ran the Ormond Garage in Nenagh, which used to be located at Kickham St. Going further back the generations, the Waller family was involved in the maltings business, serving the Guinness brewers.

Tom's latest film tells the story of how the Wild Boars soccer team, consisting of 12 schoolboys and their coach, became trapped deep inside a waterlogged cave in northern Thailand last year. The efforts to rescue them drew the concerned attention of the world.

Billed as a thrilling, visceral recreation of the events, 'The Cave' tells the story from the perspective of the people who often made selfless decisions as they witnessed young lives at stake. Jim Warny is one of a number of protagonists involved in the actual rescue to appear in the film cast as themselves.

The film will premiere at the Everyman Theatre as part of the Cork Film Festival this Saturday, November 9th. There will be a post-screening Q&A with Tom. 'The Cave' is to go on general release in Ireland next year; date to be confirmed.