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Sometimes movies can make millions of dollars. Other times, they can save lives. Peter Jackson knows a little bit about each of these as director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and producer of West of Memphis, a documentary about the lives of three wrongly convicted (and now freed) Arkansas youths, The West Memphis Three.

He talked to E! News at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah this week about his two latest passion projects, West of Memphis and The Hobbit.

Jackson speaks out, like he always has, about the celebrated case that drew the attention of stars such as Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines. After donating money for DNA tests and research for years in attempt to exonerate the "kids" he felt were rail-roaded for the murder, Jackson says he and partner Fran Walsh became frustrated and decided to "resort to what we know...and make a movie."

There's plenty more in the video from West of Memphis director Amy Berg who weighs in on the protracted project. Not to mention, Damien Echols, one of the defendants who talks about 20-year struggle of going from Death Row to the red carpet.

Jackson also reveals how things are progressing on the set of The Hobbit, saying, "It's going great. We're probably two-thirds of the way through shooting and I go back to New Zealand in about two weeks and we start another hundred days of shooting."

—Reporting by William Marfuggi