The Orchard and Regal Cinemas are proud to announce an exciting collaboration to bring the award-winning documentary, LIFE, ANIMATED, to 30 cities around the country on August 27, 2016. This special one-day national screening date is part of Regal’s My Way Matinee screening series, featuring a sensory friendly screening environment to support those on the autism spectrum and their families.

From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who 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 emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving toddler who suddenly and inexplicably went silent – and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires.
Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE LION KING, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to reconnect with the world around him. By evocatively interweaving classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with characters like Simba, Ariel, and Aladdin forge a conduit for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality.

Sensory friendly screenings are a special opportunity for individuals living with autism and others to enjoy a film in a safe and accepting environment. In order to provide a more comfortable setting for individuals on the autism spectrum, the movie auditorium keeps their lights turned slightly up (dim lights will remain on) and the sound turned slightly down. Being able to relax and enjoy their time with friends or family in public without worrying if someone will complain or be disturbed by noise of movement is a rare experience for ASD youth. Here, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing.

Owen’s love of movies is the beginning of his journey to communication and connection. Regal Cinemas and The Orchard want to ensure that all the Owens in the world are able to find a way to experience the same movie-going experience as everyone else. Join us on August 27th at 10:30am at a Regal Cinemas theater near you, visit: for screening locations and more info.

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