Best Children’s Programme: Locked In Boy; Sugar Films for CBBC
CBBC’s first-person documentary strand has covered many difficult topics over the years, but the subject of this sensitive film presented a unique challenge from the outset.
As the first My Life doc authored by a ‘non-verbal’ child, how would it convey its subject’s thoughts in an authentic way?
The answer was woven into the film up-front, as 10-year-old Jonathan, who was born with cerebral palsy, chose one of his friends to speak his words on his behalf.
Showing these boys queuing up to be chosen made for a powerful opening statement, put Jonathan in control, avoided showing him as a victim and introduced him as a bright, charismatic character with whom viewers would want to spend half an hour.
“It showed children being receptive to difference,” said one judge. “It said, ‘he’s one of us, and here’s how we can help him’.”
While presenting an inspiring tale, in which Jonathan helped to secure research funding for disabled children in the classroom and met author Michael Morpurgo, the doc was up-front about his day-to-day health and physical challenges, and overcame the potential limitations to provide an intimate, authentic glimpse into his life.
“This was an exceptional documentary that gave a voice to a witty, talented and courageous boy,” said one judge, praising it as an “inclusive, diverse and articulate” piece of factual film-making.