Guests: Roger Ross Williams & Jessica Kiang
This week we are joined by the director of Life, Animated - the inspiring documentary about an autistic boy whose family discovered that he was communicating with them thru the Disney films he was watching and The Playlist's Jessica Kiang who guides us through some of the biggest trends and controversies of the film season.
A number of years ago we came across the story of Owen Suskind when reading the book Life, Animated, written by his father, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind. Owen was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films.
This very personal story about the Suskind family, Owen, his parents Ron and Cornelia and his older brother Walter is now a documentary by Oscar winning director Roger Ross Williams. We ask Williams about the process of making the documentary, how Disney responded to the film and much more.
Life, Animated shows at the Stockholm Film Festival starting November 9th.
We are also joined by writer Jessica Kiang whose smart, fresh, and often hilarious film reviews are always on our must read list. She shares with us her ‘hits and misses’ from this year’s film festivals as we move into award season, and we discuss how Trump has tried to project himself to the world thru his TV and film cameos, as well as the difficulty of separating art from the artist with the example of Nate Parker and his film Birth of a Nation.
Roger Ross Williams is a director and producer whose first film Music by Prudence won the 2010 Academy Award. Williams also directed the feature documentary God Loves Uganda, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the controversial documentary Blackface. His latest documentary Life, Animated follows the real-life story of Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who connects to the world through the films of Disney.
Jessica Kiang is the Features Editor for The Playlist and a regular contributor for Variety. Originally from Ireland, she now lives in Berlin.