Cartoon Saloon’s ‘The Breadwinner’ takes home the Grand Prize at the inaugural Animation Is Film Festival in Hollywood

The festival, which took place in the TCL Chinese Theatre last Friday, October 22nd also saw director Nora Twomey win the audience award.

‘The Breadwinner follows Parvana, a girl growing up in Afghanistan in 2001. Following her father’s arrest, she dresses as a boy in order to work and provide for her family. Together with her best friend Shauzia, she risks discovery to try to find out if her father is still alive.

Cartoon Saloon have already received two Oscar nominations for their previous work – ‘Book of Kells’ & ‘Song of the Sea’. The studio is expected to be in contention again this year with ‘The Breadwinner’ already the winner a number of awards and nominations in the build-up to the Academy Awards.

‘The Breadwinner’ entered production in May 2016 and is a co-production between Aircraft Pictures Canada, Luxembourg’s Melesine Productions and Cartoon Saloon in association with Angelina Jolie’s Jolie Pas Productions.Producers are Anthony Leo (What’s up Warthogs!), Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea) and Paul Young (Puffin Rock). Executive producers are Angelina Jolie, Mimi Polk Gitlin, Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim and Gerry Shirren.‘The Lesser Blessed’ writer/director Anita Doron co-writes the screenplay with Deborah Ellis, based on Ellis’ own novel of the same name, which was published in 2000.Speaking on behalf of the jury, its chair, Variety critic Peter Debruge, said, “The Breadwinner is not just an incredibly important film, but one that reminds us of the power of animation to communicate serious issues in the world. Transforming hardship into a warm and moving story, the movie represents a triumph by its director, Nora Twomey, in terms of script, voice acting, design, music and editing. The films in competition this year illustrated the many techniques and possibilities of animation, but The Breadwinner was a clear favorite among our jury. Special Jury Prize goes to The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, a comedy that celebrates the joys of traditional cartoon animation.”

The Breadwinner will be released in the US on November 17th; and on May 25th 2018 in the UK & Ireland.

Sources:  Giardina, Carolyn, 2017. The Hollywood Reporter, and Cartoon Saloon News