Colombia taps Oscar-winning producer for documentary on kids rescued in Amazon
PARIS—The Colombian government is working with British producer Simon Chinn to make a documentary about the four Indigenous children who survived 40 days alone in the Amazon after a plane crash that killed their mother, the country’s president said Friday, June 23.
Gustavo Petro, who is attending a climate summit in Paris, said he had “a first meeting” with Chinn, a two-time Oscar winner for the documentaries “Man on Wire” (2008) and “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012).
The four children—Lesly (13), Soleiny (9), Tien Noriel (5) and 1-year-old Cristin—were the only survivors of a small plane crash in the Amazon on May 1.
All three adults on board, including their mother, died.
It took nearly 200 military and Indigenous rescuers with search dogs 40 days to track down the children in difficult jungle conditions.
On Thursday, Petro published a photo in which he appears with Chinn; a correspondent for Britain’s Channel 4 television, Guillermo Galdos; and the director of television for Colombian state broadcaster RTVC, Hollman Morris.
Petro said RTVC will partner with Lightbox, a production company founded by Chinn, to tell the story of “Operation Hope,” the name for the massive search operation.
“We have to talk with the family, with the Indigenous communities (and) open the archive of images,” Petro told journalists.
The discovery of some of the children’s belongings in the vicinity of the aircraft sparked a search involving elite military commandos and Indigenous spiritual guides who finally guided rescuers to a spot in the jungle where the siblings were huddled on June 9.
They were in a makeshift shelter, underweight and dehydrated. They survived thanks to wild fruits and the ingenuity of Lesly, who used a soda bottle to collect water to drink.
The children are recovering satisfactorily at a military hospital in Bogota “with improvement… in appetite, weight gain and adequate tolerance to food intake,” the medical center said this week. /ra