Angelina Jolie joins forces with Cartoon Saloon Kilkenny

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Twice Oscar nominated animation company Cartoon Saloon, based in Kilkenny has pulled off a major coup. It has announced that it is joining forces with Angelina Jolie to co-produce its latest film, The Breadwinner. Jolie who is married to Brad Pitt will act as an executive producer on the upcoming feature film with her company, Jolie Pas Productions.

The Breadwinner is based on the internationally acclaimed young adult novel of the same name by Canadian author, Deborah Ellis and will be directed by Nora Twomey (co-director of The Secret Of Kells) with screen story by Ellis and screenplay by Anita Doran.

The Breadwinner

An Inspiring tale of self-empowerment, hope and creativity in the face of oppression is based on the top-selling young adult novel by Deborah Ellis to be directed by Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey

LOS ANGELES (August 11, 2015) —- Angelina Jolie Pitt and her Jolie Pas Productions have joined forces with the filmmaking team of the upcoming animated feature film The Breadwinner, it was announced today. Jolie Pitt will serve as an executive producer on the film.

The Breadwinner is based on the internationally acclaimed young adult novel of the same name by Canadian author Deborah Ellis and will be directed by Nora Twomey (co-director, Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells) with screen story by Ellis and screenplay by Anita Doron. The film is being produced by Aircraft Pictures, Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions with producers Tomm Moore and Paul Young of the Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea), Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen of Aircraft Pictures and Stephan Roelants of Melusine Productions. Academy Award-nominated producers Jehane Noujaim & Karim Amer (Emmy Award winners for The Square) and Gerry Shirren at Cartoon Saloon will serve as executive producers. The film was developed with support from Telefilm Canada, the Irish Film Board, the Film Fund Luxembourg, Corus Entertainment, the Harold Greenberg Fund and the Belinda Stronach Foundation. The film is currently casting and in pre-production in advance of an August production start and due for completion in early 2017.

The Breadwinner is the story of Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, who must disguise herself as a boy and become the breadwinner of the family when her father is unfairly imprisoned. A story of self-empowerment and imagination in the face of oppression, The Breadwinner also celebrates the culture, history and beauty of Afghanistan. A version of the film will be produced in Dari in addition to the English-language version.

“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” Jolie Pitt said. “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.”

Published by Groundwood Books, the novel has been in print for over 15 years and is recommended reading in numerous middle schools throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Author Deborah Ellis recently completed My Name is Parvana, the fourth book in the series which has cumulative sales exceeding 2.5 million copies across 25 languages. Ellis has donated more than $1 million from her book royalties to the charity Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Jolie Pitt will donate any profits derived from her role as executive producer of The Breadwinner towards education of Afghan girls.

The Breadwinner was recently hailed as a book that all girls should read by 17-year-old activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who told the New York Times in 2014 that, “’The Breadwinner’ reminds us how courageous and strong women are around the world.”

Jolie Pitt is currently in post-production on By The Sea, a drama she wrote, directed and stars in with Brad Pitt that will be released by Universal this year. She recently directed Universal’s Unbroken, based on the life of Olympian and World War II POW survivor Louis Zamperini, and she made her feature directorial debut with In the Land of Blood and Honey. Jolie Pitt presented and served as an executive producer of the Ethiopian film “Difret,” which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won international audience awards at both the Sundance and Berlin film festivals.

Cartoon Saloon, Aircraft Pictures and Melusine Productions are repped by CAA for The Breadwinner.

Cartoon Saloon is the twice Academy Award®-nominated animation studio formed by Paul Young, Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey in 1999 and producer of Tomm Moore’s Secret of Kells and 2015 nominee Song of the Sea currently in release worldwide. The studio is also currently in production on Puffin Rock, a preschool series set on a beautiful island off the coast of Ireland. The series introduces a combination of preschool themes and soft natural history learnings to young viewers with acclaimed actor Chris O’Dowd narrating. Co-produced with Penguin Random House Childrens and Dog Ears, the show currently on Nick Jr (UK) and RTE (Ireland), will premiere exclusively on Netflix in a number of territories including the U.S. and Canada later this year.

The Breadwinner marks Aircraft Pictures’ first foray into feature-length animation. Based in Toronto with offices in Los Angeles, Aircraft is currently in production on the live action comedy television series The Wonderful Wayneys starring Molly Ringwald & Jason Priestley and the family television movie Bruno & Boots: Go Jump In The Pool adapted from the novel of the same name by Gordon Korman. Past production credits include the award-winning sci-fi comedy series Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil which has aired internationally on SPACE, Netflix, SyFy UK & Austraila and Fearnet, Anthony E. Zuiker’s Cybergeddon for Yahoo and the family sitcom What’s Up, Warthogs! for Family Channel.

Formed in 1998 by Stéphan Roelants, Melusine Productions is a Luxembourg based production company focused on developing and producing animated movies and TV shows, documentaries and live action movies. Melusine’s focus is on original, well conceived and unusual productions which it produces with its partner studio, Studio 352, whose crew consists of renowned artists. Since 2004, Melusine has participated as a co-producer on feature-length movies and TV series such as T’Choupi – The Movie, The Tell-Tale Heart, A Town Called Panic or The Storytelling Show. In 2012, the highly awaited animated movies The Day of the Crows and Ernest and Célestine were released, the latter gaining selections in Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and New York, as well as a César and an Academy Award nomination. Melusine was involved in the production of Aunt Hilda, selected in the last Berlinale, My Mommy is in America, nominated at the Césars 2014, and Song of the Sea, nominated at the Césars and the Academy Awards 2015. Melusine is also developing its own projects such as the animated cinematic production Extraordinary Tales, based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, which was presented in official selection at Annecy 2015.

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