Owen Suskind was a normal boy, until suddenly, at the age of three he was affected by a developmental disorder. What begins as a concern from his parents turns into a hopeless reality: Owen is diagnosed with autism. He can’t speak properly and ends up disconnected from the world around him. One of the only things he can do is watch Disney animated movies with his older brother. At the moment when his parents had almost lost all hope that their son might talk again one day, Owen communicates with them, quoting something familiar: a sentence from one of the Disney movies he watches all day long. Soon, his parents discover that their son is only able to communicate through the fictional world he built up in his head, based on Disney cartoons. This discovery opens a whole new world of possibilities for Owen and his family that will lead them much further than they ever could have imagined.
This humane and astonishing documentary treats the case of Owen Suskind and the subject of autism with sensibility and hopefulness, and yet, with the rigour required. Life, animated moved deeply the crowds at each competition where it was presented and won numerous audience awards at festivals such as Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival in 2016. This impeccable documentary also seduced the juries: it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Furthermore, it is nominated for Best Documentary at the 2017 Oscars, it was selected among the Top Five Documentaries by the National Board of Review and it won the Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival in 2016. Without a doubt, Life, animated will move the audience at Americana Film Festival too, as we witness an absolutely incredible story. Maybe cinema never worked its magic as much as it did for Owen.
2016: Oscar – Shortlist
2016: Sundance Film Festival – Directing Award Documentary
2016: San Francisco International Film Festival – Audience Award
2016: Full Frame Film Festival – Audience Award
2016: Top Five documentaries in the National Board of Review