International Competition

Life, Animated

Roger Ross Williams
Screening time  
27.02. / Monday, 20:00 - 22:00 Theatre 1  
28.02. / Tuesday, 13:00 - 15:00 Theatre 3  
01.03. / Wednesday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 4  
02.03. / Thursday, 14:00 - 16:00 Theatre 1  
A story about a child with autism, expressing himself through memorized lines and situations from the animated movies he loves.

When Owen Suskind was three years old, he suddenly stopped talking and seemed to essentially disappear from his family into a place inside his own head. Owen appeared to have been hit with late-onset autism, and his parents were devastated. But his father, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind, would not give up that easily. Noticing that his son was constantly mesmerized by watching Disney movies over and over, he decided to attempt to communicate with his son through characters and quotes from films like Aladdin, Dumbo, and Hercules, among others. Soon Owen was able to express himself through memorized lines and situations from the animated movies he loved, and after several years of silence was finally connecting again with his family.


Roger Ross Williams

Roger Ross Williams was the first African-American director to win an Academy Award for a documentary short, Music by Prudence (2010). Life, Animated is his second feature documentary after the critically acclaimed God Loves Uganda (2013).

General sponsor

2016, 91'

Directed by:
Roger Ross Williams

Tom Bergmann

Mac Guff

Edited by:
Richard Hankin

Dylan Stark

Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Sean Lyness

Produced by:
Motto Pictures

Festivals & Awards:

Sundance Film Festival 2016 – Directing Award; IDFA 2016 – Audience Award, 2nd place; Annie Awards 2017 – Special Achievement Award; San Francisco International Film Festival 2016 – Audience Award; Budapest International Documentary Festival 2016 – Student Jury Award; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2016 – Audience Award; Heartland Film 2016 – Truly Moving Picture Award; Nantucket Film Festival 2016 – Audience Award; National Board of Review, USA 2016 – NBR Award; Hot Docs 2016; Melbourne International Film Festival 2016; Stockholm Film Festival 2016; Seattle International Film Festival 2016