MEDIA ALERT: Pulitzer Prize Winner, NYT Best Selling Author to Host Film Screening of “Life, Animated” at UVA

On Tuesday, October 16 the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Human Development will host Ron Suskind, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the of the book, Life, Animated, for a screening of the film adaptation of his New York Times best-selling book about his family’s journey with Autism.

In Life, Animated, Ron Suskind shares the compelling story of his son, Owen, who stopped communicating after developing normally for three years and was eventually diagnosed with Autism. The story follows the family’s journey as Owen redevelops communication skills through watching and memorizing Disney movies.

The Curry School of Education and Human Development is home to a significant portfolio of work in Autism, including the Supporting Transformative Autism Research (STAR) project. The STAR initiative, led by the Curry School in partnership with colleagues across the University of Virginia, aims to improve the lives of individuals with autism through groundbreaking research and innovative models for intervention and training.

Suskind, who is a 1981 graduate of the UVA College of Arts & Sciences, serves as chair of the UVA – Curry Autism Advancement Council, a group aiming to secure philanthropic resources for autism-related projects at UVA.

Life, Animated was selected by the Curry School as the 2018-19 school-wide Common Read, an annual selection read by staff, faculty, students and alumni that becomes a centerpiece to a series of discussions, events and gatherings through the academic year. The Common Read provides a venue for learning, sharing diverse points of view, fostering open discussion, and building respect for each other and new and different ideas.

Life, Animated provides an opportunity for the Curry Community to consider issues of diversity and equity through the lens of (dis)ability,” said Joanna Williams, professor and chair of the Diversity Action Committee, the organization that selects each year’s common read.

Mr. Suskind will be available for media from 4:00pm to 4:30pm in the Bavaro Hall Atrium on the UVA Grounds. Other faculty members involved in the STAR project will be available, as well. The film screening will begin at 6:00 pm in Ruffner Hall G008. Mr. Suskind will offer remarks and answer questions following the film.

For more information, contact Audrey Breen at or 434.242.5291.