via press release:
A&E INDIEFILMS PARTNERS WITH MOTTO PICTURES AND ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS ON THE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY LIFE, ANIMATED
FILM TO TELL THE TRUE STORY OF AN AUTISTIC YOUNG MAN WHO FOUND HIS VOICE THROUGH DISNEY ANIMATED MOVIES
BASED ON THE BOOK BY RON SUSKIND
New York, NY – August 4, 2014 – A&E IndieFilms, the Academy Award-nominated feature film division of A+E Studios, has partnered with Academy Award winning director Roger Ross Williams and Motto Pictures to produce the new feature documentary, Life, Animated. The announcement was made today by David McKillop, Executive Vice President & General Manager of A&E Network.
Life, Animated will tell the astonishing story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn’t speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney animated movies, and then turned them into a language to express love, pain and joy. In response, Owen’s family learned to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue, until they all emerged together, revealing how in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive. Life, Animated is a cinematic exploration into the magical world that Owen has created and the story of a family that found hope and connection in the most unexpected of places.
“ Life, Animated represents the culturally relevant, incredible storytelling that has been the lifeblood of A&E IndieFilms,” said McKillop. “We are pleased to partner with Roger and Motto’s Julie Goldman to bring this incredible story to the big screen.”
“I’m honored to bring the Suskind family’s touching story to life,” said Williams. “Owen is a remarkable young man, and I hope his story will serve as an inspiration for us all.”
“A&E IndieFilms’ passion for character-driven stories and quality films makes them the ideal partner for this film,” said Julie Goldman, Producer, Motto Pictures. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to share the Suskind’s extraordinary journey.”
Life, Animated is produced by A&E IndieFilms, in association with Motto Pictures and Roger Ross Williams Productions.Roger Ross Williams will serve as Director.Julie Goldman and Williams will produce. Molly Thompson, Bob DeBitetto and David McKillop will serve as executive producers for A&E IndieFilms. Life, Animated is based on the book by Ron Suskind.
Roger Ross Williams won the 2010 Academy Award for his documentary short subject film called Music by Prudence. His latest feature film God Loves Uganda, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, has won over a dozen awards, and was short-listed for a 2014 Academy Award. He currently serves on the alumni board of the Sundance Institute.
Julie Goldman is an Emmy Award-winning producer of documentary feature films. She was the Executive Producer of The Kill Team which will be in theaters in July, and produced three films that premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at Sundance: Gideon’s Army, Manhunt and the Oscar shortlisted God Loves Uganda. Julie also produced Buck, winner of the Sundance Documentary Audience Award, shortlisted for an Academy Award and one of 2011’s top five grossing documentaries.
ABOUT A&E INDIEFILMS
A&E IndieFilms is the feature documentary production arm of A+E Studios. A&E IndieFilms is committed to developing the work of outstanding independent filmmakers and helping them reach the broadest possible audience. A&E IndieFilms commissions, produces and provides finishing funds for feature documentaries intended for co-branded theatrical release. Films include the 2006 and 2007 Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Feature, Murderball and Jesus Camp; Nanette Burstein’s American Teen, which received the Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival; Amir Bar-Lev’s My Kid Could Paint That; R.J. Cutler’s The September Issue; Amir Bar-Lev’s 2012 Emmy Award-winning The Tillman Story; Alex Gibney’s 2011 PGA Award and DGA Award nominee Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer; Bart Layton’s BAFTA Award-winning The Imposter; and and Mike Myers’ directorial debut, SuperMensch : The Legend of Shep Gordon.
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