Arab Times



Although stars Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips and Cote de Pablo walked the red carpet at AFI Fest’s gala screening of “The 33” at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Monday, the group that received the most cheers weren’t the actors — but four of the actual miners that were trapped for 69 days and rescued from 2,300 feet below Chile’s Atacama Desert.

The real miners played a key role in the making of “The 33.” Director Patricia Riggen spent extensive time interviewi­ng all 33 men who survived the 2010 Copiapo mining accident.

“When you’re standing in front of those 33 guys, there’s something special in the air,” Riggen said. “The very first time that I met them, every kind of thing happened. (One of the miners) Elvis was kind of lost when they introduced me, so he didn’t know who I was. He suddenly comes back, he’s a little tipsy to put it somehow, he grabs me, tries to kiss me and says, ‘Who are you?’ I say, ‘I’m the director!’”

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