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
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.