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  • Writer's pictureYada Vasinvarthana

Thai D Co-Owner Emmys® Wins as a Filmmaker

Updated: Feb 6, 2023


Thanet accepting the Emmy® on stage along with the producers and directors.


Our co-owner Thanet Natisri was presented with an Emmy® from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for his work as an executive producer of the documentary "The Rescue” with National Geographic studio.


The 43rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards were held live at the Palladium Times Square in New York City on September 29, 2022.

Billboard in Times Square, New York City.


The Rescue scored 3 wins out of 5 nominations including Outstanding Research, Outstanding Direction, and Outstanding Current Affair.


The film was also nominated for Best Documentary at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA®) and was shortlisted for an Oscar® in 2022.


The film achieved positive feedback on various review platforms such as a 99% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and received 13 wins and 36 nominations during the award season film festivals across the US, Canada, and UK.


The Rescue was directed by Academy Award winning filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vashehelyi and Jimmy Chin ( Free Solo 2019 ) and is now available on Disney+


The Emmy® is giving out to outstanding achievement in television is considered one of the four major prestige annual American entertainment awards, along with the Grammy® for music, the Oscar® (Academy Award) for film, and the Tony® for stage theatre.


Thanet's acceptance speech at the Live broadcasting of the Emmy® ceremony.

The Rescue filmmaker celebrating the Emmy wins at a rooftop reception in NYC.

Thanet and his wife Yada Natisri holding an Emmy during the award reception party in New York City. (Credit: National Geographic)


From a Film Subject to a Filmmaker

Our co-owner Thanet Natisri was involved in the Thai Cave rescue of 2018. The monsoon rain trapped a group of 12 youth soccer players and their coach in the 1.5-mile-deep flooded underground cave in Northern Thailand. He was helping with the rescue as a volunteer to manage and reduce the water level in the cave so the divers were able to extract the youth soccer players to safety.

Thanet led teams of soldiers, volunteers, students and villagers to help divert the water away from the cave in 2018.


Thanet was also involved in many water-related charity and volunteering work that helps bring clean water to thousands of people around the world, including donations of meals from his restaurant, Thai D, to help those who were helping battle rising flood waters along the Mississippi River in 2019.






Thanet, his wife Yada and Thai D employees helped build barricades using sandbags to save homes from floodwater and donated food to the rescue workers in Alexander county, IL in 2019.


His volunteering work and heroism has been recognized by the US House of Representatives, the Illinois House of Representatives, and has received numerous awards, including the Southern Illinois United Nations Association Human Rights Defender award, the 2019 Award of Excellence from the City of Marion Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Illinoisan 2019 Leaders Among Us Award and 2020 Above Self Service award from the rotary club of Thai Town in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Congressman Mike Bost recognized Thanet's role in the Thai cave rescue at the US House of Representatives in 2018.


A year after the Thai cave rescue incident, Thanet was contacted and interviewed as a film subject by the director and filmmakers from the National Geographic studio regarding his role as a "water guy" in the incident.


A couple of months into the production, Thanet was offered an executive producer credit in the film due to his significant contribution of research and management skills during the production in New York where he worked on this film for 3 months.


Thanet also helped to promote the films during the award season in 2021 by screening and facilitating Q&A sessions across the world.

LA Screening Q&A session of the Rescue in 2021


Thanet's role as the "water guy" is also portrayed in the Hollywood feature film directed by another Oscar® Winning Director Ron Howard, " Thirteen Lives", streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Thanet Natisri (played by Nophand Boonyai), a restaurant owner who spearheads a water diversion effort in the nearby mountains to render the caves more navigable in reenactment scene in Thirteen Lives by Ron Howard.


Links to the News article below:


The Rescue Premier in Central Park New York 2021


Thirteen Lives Premier in Los Angeles 2022



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