The documentary feature film, Life, Animated, will be The Berkshire International Film Festival’s opening night film in Pittsfield, MA at The Beacon Theatre on Friday, June 3rd at 7pm.

Life, Animated tells the story of how Owen Suskind, who is autistic, found a pathway through Disney animation to language and a framework for making sense of the world. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. Owen’s father, Ron Suskind, wrote a book of the same name to tell his family’s story of losing Owen.

The film interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel forge a conduit for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality.

Life, Animated won the Directing Award for a U.S. Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and director, Roger Ross Williams, join us now. Roger Ross Williams is an Academy Award winning documentarian -- winning in 2010 for the Documentary Short Subject, Music by Prudence.

  There will be a reading and book launch celebration at Northshire Bookstore for Saratoga Springs author Robin Antalek’s new novel, The Grown Ups.

The book is an evocative coming-of-age novel involving three friends who explore what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and the difficulties in doing both together.

Antalek is also the author of The Summer We Fell Apart. She will be at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs at 6PM on Thursday, January 29th.

  The author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moshin Hamid, will be at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts to talk about his new novel - the boldly imagined tale of a poor boy’s quest for wealth and love.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel is the astonishing and riveting tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over “rising Asia.”

It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and re-crossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.

Louise Erdrich has been a published and highly regarded author for nearly 30 years but had never won a National Book Award until being cited in November 2012 for her novel, The Round House. It is the second book of a planned trilogy about an Ojibwe boy and his quest to avenge his mother's rape.

Richard Ford is one of America’s most highly revered writers. His book, Independence Day , was the first to receive both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.