The Orchard acquires N.A. rights for “Life, Animated”

The distributor has acquired North American rights to the latest Sundance award-winning feature doc from director Roger Ross Williams (pictured) and A&E Indie Films.
February 4, 2016

Distributor The Orchard has acquired all North American rights to the latest Sundance award-winning doc from Roger Ross Williams and A&E Indie Films, Life, Animated.

The film tells the story of Owen Suskind, who, at the age of three, stopped speaking and, due to his autism, withdrew into his own world. Through a love of Disney animation, Suskind, son of author Ron Suskind and now a young man, finds meaning in life and a pathway to communicate.

Williams won the directing award in the U.S. documentary competition at Sundance this year for the film.

Life, Animated is a deeply inspiring and emotional film that hooked us from the outset,” said Paul Davidson, SVP of film and TV at The Orchard, in a statement. “Not only are we thrilled to be working with Roger and Julie [Goldman, co-producer] to share Owen’s story with audiences, but ecstatic to be partnering once again with our friends at A&E Indie Films.”

“We had a great experience with The Orchard on Cartel Land, and are delighted to get the band back together for Life, Animated,” said Molly Thompson, SVP, A&E IndieFilms.

Exec producers are Molly Thompson, Robert DeBitetto, Robert Sharenow and Ron Suskind. Danielle DiGiacomo, VP of acquisitions for The Orchard, negotiated the deal with Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.