Thai cave rescue to be made into a movie by American independent Christian producers

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Image: Page1 News reps in Thailand

Pure Flix, an American independent Christian film and television studio, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona has announced that it has plans to turn the massive Thai save and rescue effort of the 12 boys and their coach into a movie.

Michael Scott, one of the founders of the studio lives in Thailand and was at the rescue site in the north of the country as the boys were being pulled to safety. He made the announcement at the scene of the flooded cave in Chiang Rai, late Tuesday (Jul 10) on Twitter.

“I couldn’t be more excited. This story has meant so much to me as I have followed it in Thailand this summer,” Scott said.

Adding: “My wife actually grew up with the Thai Navy SEAL that died in the cave. To see all that heroic bravery in the cave, and to get all the divers out, it’s just such a touching event and so personal to me.”

More than 30 US military personnel with specialists from Australia, Britain, Japan, China, Myanmar and Laos, joined about 1,000 Thai rescuers in the massive search-and-rescue effort. The massive search-and-rescue operation was carried out after a teenage football team and their coach went missing during a cave excursion on June 23.

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Scott said that he had spoken to some of the divers and family members of the boys involved in the rescue, though not to the boys themselves, as they are still hospitalized.

Pure Flix had previously produced  the God’s Not Dead series. The first installment of the series was 2014’s highest grossing independent film and one of the most successful independent faith-based films of all time.

Part 2 of God’s Not Dead grossed over $1.4 million in Brazil and was declared by Vox to be “moderately commercially successful”. Legalities related to the Johnson Amendment were referenced in the second film.

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the U.S. tax code, since 1954, that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Section 501(c)(3) organizations are the most common type of nonprofit organization in the United States, ranging from charitable foundations to universities and churches. The amendment is named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who introduced it in a preliminary draft of the law in July 1954.

In 2016 at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, President Trump promised to “get rid of and totally destroy” a 60-year-old rule that blocks tax-exempt religious groups from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

Trump said: “Jefferson asked, ‘Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?’ Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution—I will do that.”

The repeal effort, however, ran into stiff opposition from nonprofit organizations and many church groups and remains in place. Those that opposed the repeal said that without the amendment they would face pressure from politicians seeking endorsements.

The third part of God’s Not Dead was released on March 30, 2018. The Christian band Newsboys appear in and provide music for the first two films in the series.

Scott said that it was “not necessary to make this a Christian film, just an inspirational one.”