The hand-drawn animated feature film The Breadwinner is executively-produced by Angelina Jolie Pitt and has been boarded by indie animation distributor GKIDS.
The Breadwinner is an animated adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ critically-acclaimed YA novel of the same name and tells the story of a girl named Parvana, living under the Taliban in Afghanistan. Parvana cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family when her father is imprisoned by the Taliban.
GKids Joins Angelina Jolie Pitt on Animated Movie ‘The Breadwinner’ https://t.co/98DYCN29sx
— Variety (@Variety) June 9, 2016
Angelina said of the project, “Millions of young girls like Parvana are growing up today under oppression or conflict, and helping their families to survive in those conditions. This story is a reminder of the immense value of their contribution.”
“I am delighted to be working with a talented team of artists who I know will do justice to the richness, creativity and strength of Afghan culture and to little girls like Parvana.”
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This is reportedly the first time GKIDS is serving in a producing and financing capacity, along with distribution, with CEO/founder Eric Beckman and senior VP distribution David Jesteadt joining Jolie Pitt as executive producers.
— Deadline Hollywood (@Deadline) June 9, 2016
Jesteadt told the Hollywood Reporter that the move toward production is a very natural extension of their business, saying, “This is our first, but it won’t be our last.”
“We’ll continue to acquire films and we’ll be on the lookout for the right kind of projects to keep our move into production going. Cartoon Salon, I think, is one of the best animation studios in the world. And with the quality of the animation and sensitivity of the story, we feel very comfortable with this group [of producers].”
Jesteadt went on to say he thinks The Breadwinner is going to be “very moving and affecting,” adding that Cartoon Saloon has moved on from Celtic fantasy tales to this “deep movie” with a sociopolitical message.
“It shows the strength of their storytelling ability.”
— Anne King (@inthemedia1) June 10, 2016
GKIDS also recently obtained distributions rights in North America, where the film is set for theatrical release in fall 2017.
The animated film is being billed as a tale of female empowerment in the face of oppression that will also celebrate the rich Afghan culture.
— The Breadwinner (@BreadwinnerThe) June 8, 2016
As reported by Den of Geek, The Breadwinner is still in production, and besides being co-produced by Angelina Jolie Pitt, the film is being directed by Nora Twomey from the Ireland-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon. Their previous GKIDS releases include The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, which both earned Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations.
In addition to GKIDS and Jolie’s production company Jolie Pas Productions, Canada’s Guru Studio and Aircraft Pictures, as well as Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions, have joined the project.
— The Booklist Reader (@booklistreader) March 11, 2016
Reportedly, Ellis, the author of The Breadwinner, has recently completed the fourth book in the series, My Name is Parvana. The author has donated more than $1 million from her book royalties to the charity Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.
[Photo Angelina Jolie Pitt by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images]