Screening Room

MIPCOM Picks 2012: Turtle Boy

While a Google search can reveal this story's ultimate outcome, the special provides a life-affirming look at a young child's strength of spirit, and a team of physicians' capacity for caring.
September 25, 2012

Partners: Sundog Pictures Production for Channel 4 and National Geographic; distributed by Electric Sky

Length: 1 x 48 minutes

Aired: April 2012 (Channel 4, UK); July 2012 (NGC, U.S.)

Rights available: All rights, worldwide

Originally airing on Channel 4′s ‘Bodyshock’ strand, Turtle Boy tells the story of young Didier, a six-year-old who was born with congenital melanocytic nevus (CMN), a condition characterized by an abundance of moles on the body. Didier’s mole encompasses 60 percent of his body, resembling a tortoise shell. The show’s title comes from the name that neighbors in the remote village of rural Colombia used to refer to the boy. After Didier’s story is picked up by a news broadcast in Bogotá, a top surgeon in the UK, Dr. Neil Bulstrode, offers to join the surgical team in the Colombian capital and remove the mole. And while a Google search can reveal the story’s ultimate outcome, the special provides a jarring yet ultimately life-affirming look at a young child’s strength of spirit, and a team of physicians’ capacity for caring.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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