Sundance: The Orchard Acquires Autism Doc 'Life, Animated'

Life, Animated still 2 - H 2016
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The film was helmed by Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams.

The documentary Life, Animated has been snagged by The Orchard. The rights to the Sundance film were acquired from A&E IndieFilms.

The doc centers on the journey of a young autistic boy named Owen Suskind, who develops an understanding of the world around him through the characters from classic Disney animated movies. 

Life, Animated won Sundance's directing award in the U.S. Documentary competition. It marks the second title picked up by The Orchard, which earlier in the festival acquired The Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Directed by Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams, the film was produced by Julie Goldman with Molly Thompson, Robert DeBitetto, Robert Sharenow, and Ron Suskind acting as executive producer.

"Life, Animated is about the power of movies, which is why we could have no better partner to bring our film to the world than The Orchard, who are so passionate about this film,” said Williams.

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

The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms previously teamed on the documentary Cartel Land, which is up for best documentary at the Oscars.

Life, Animated, which was repped by Submarine, made its world premiere on Jan. 23 at the Sundance Film Festival.