Docs

Williams, A&E IndieFilms prep “Life, Animated”

A&E IndieFilms is teaming up with Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams (pictured) for a documentary about an autistic boy who learned to communicate via Disney movies.
August 5, 2014

A&E IndieFilms, the feature film division of A+E Studios, is teaming up with Academy Award-winner Roger Ross Williams (pictured) for a documentary about an autistic boy who learned to communicate via Disney movies.

Life, Animated, based on Ron Suskind’s book of the same title, tells the story of Ron’s son Owen Suskind – an autistic boy who for years could not speak.

The book tells of how Owen memorized dozens of Disney animated movies and then turned them into a language, in order “to express love, pain and joy.” In response, his family learned to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue.

“I’m honored to bring the Suskind family’s touching story to life,” said Williams in a statement.  “Owen is a remarkable young man, and I hope his story will serve as an inspiration for us all.”

The documentary will be Williams’ third, coming on the heels of his 2010 Oscar-winning short Music by Prudence, and his 2013 feature doc debut God Loves Uganda.

Life, Animated represents the culturally relevant, incredible storytelling that has been the lifeblood of A&E IndieFilms,” said David McKillop, A&E Network’s exec VP and general manager. “We are pleased to partner with Roger and Motto’s Julie Goldman to bring this incredible story to the big screen.”

The doc is being made by A&E in association with Motto Pictures, with Goldman (The Kill Team, Gideon’s Army) and Williams serving as producers. McKillop, Molly Thompson and Bob DeBitetto are exec producing.

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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