A tiny projector and screen have been lowered into the collapsed Chilean mine shaft where 33 miners have been trapped for more than three weeks.

With work underway to drill an access tunnel through 700 metres of rock to free the men, efforts are being stepped up to provided them with provisions and entertainment to help them cope with their ordeal. The rescue effort is being predicted to last at least three months.

The miners will be able to screen films on the tiny projector, which was sent down to the men through a six-inch wide borehole. The choice of films, however, is being strictly controlled by psychologists, who are making sure that their mental stability is not being put at risk.

As well as the projector, the men have also been sent their first hot meals – rice with meatballs – since they were first trapped on 5 August. For the two-and-a-half weeks until they were discovered alive, on 22 August, the men lived on the most meager of rations including morsels of tuna and milk, causing all of them to lose significant amounts of weight.

Their diets are also being strictly controlled, however, as the men all need to be of a size where they can be lifted through the rescue tunnel that is being drilled – estimated to be around the size of an average bicycle wheel.