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Friday, 29 October 2021

New documentary Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism? announced

Flicker Productions have been commissioned to produce a documentary for the BBC with Paralympian Ellie Simmonds.

The 1x60' film will examine a new drug, which promises to help children born with Achondroplasia increase the rate of growth. Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that is the most common type of dwarfism in the UK, and the new treatment raises the question: if cutting edge medicine can stop a disability in its tracks - should we use it?

Travelling around the UK and US, Ellie will explore all sides of this contentious debate, following currently available treatments for dwarfism, meeting families embarking on the drug trial, others who feel treatment would have positively impacted their lives and those who are proud of their identity.

The road to acceptance and inclusion of disabled people has been hard-won and many feel these gains are in danger of being lost. While others see only positives with breakthroughs in modern treatments.

In this timely investigation Ellie will reflect and draw on her own experiences and ask wider questions about the relationship between science, diversity and disability. For Ellie, this will be a deeply personal documentary, meeting other members of the dwarfism community as well as speaking to her family about her own experiences of growing up with achondroplasia. As Ellie interrogates her own beliefs and preconceptions, she'll also grapple with the difficult questions that emerging medicines pose for our society.

Ellie Simmonds says: "This is a subject close to my heart. Growing up these drugs weren't available to me and had they been, I don't know what my parents would have done. But I wouldn't change myself. I love who I am and I am glad that I have dwarfism because I think my body is strong and beautiful."

Jack Bootle Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, says: "Ellie isn't just a brilliant athlete, she's also a charismatic and passionate speaker and I'm delighted we are showing this documentary on the BBC. It promises to be a fascinating film that confronts a modern medical dilemma head-on."

Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism?, a 1x60' documentary for BBC Two and iPlayer made by Flicker Productions. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music Television and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. The Commissioning Editor is Tom Coveney. The Executive Producer is Colleen Flynn and the Director is Kate Monaghan.

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