'Life, Animated' Director Roger Ross Williams: Documentaries "Can Be Uplifting and Positive"

'Life, Animated' is "an uplifting, positive story about going into the older world of Owen, who has autism," Williams said.

"Owen developed such a rich, internal world, and I bring the audience into that world," filmmaker Roger Ross Williams told The Hollywood Reporter during the Documentary Oscar Roundtable while discussing his film, Life, Animated, about a boy who learned how to communicate through the medium of Disney's classic films.

Disney allowed Williams to use footage from classic films, to re-cut and in some cases re-draw scenes from its animation. "I had to go in to the studio with all the heads of every department of Disney: legal, animation, marketing. And I had to take them on a journey through the film," said Williams. "By the time I finished, they were in tears."

More roundtables featuring actors and actresses, screenwriters, songwriters, directors, composers and producers will continue throughout February in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting Jan. 15 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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