LOS ANGELES, CA – February 4, 2016 – The Orchard announced today that the company has reached an agreement with A&E IndieFilms to acquire all North American distribution rights to director Roger Ross Williams’ documentary LIFE, ANIMATED. The film just won the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award in US Documentary competition. LIFE, ANIMATED was produced by Julie Goldman and Williams, and executive producers are Molly Thompson, Robert DeBitetto, Robert Sharenow and Ron Suskind.  This marks the second deal between The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms, after the Academy Award-nominated Cartel Land. 

LIFE, ANIMATED is a coming of age story about Owen Suskind, who ceased speaking at three years old, disappearing into autism.  The film tells the story of how Owen found in Disney animation a pathway to language and a framework for making sense of the world.  LIFE, ANIMATED interweaves classic Disney sequences with verité scenes from Owen’s life, along with original animations based on Owen’s own drawings, where he imagines himself heroically facing adversity with his tribe of sidekicks.