The animated film comes from Nora Twomey, co-director of 'The Secret of Kells'
After landing Oscar nominations for both of the Irish studio’s feature films, the first trailer for Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner shows it might be third time lucky.
Having made a name for themselves as some of the best hand-drawn animators in the business, The Breadwinner marks Cartoon Saloon’s biggest project to date.
Adapted from Deborah Ellis’s YA novel of the same name, The Breadwinner tells the story of 12-year-old Parvana. Living under the reign of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, she dresses as a boy in order to work and provide for her family after her father is arrested.
But together with her best friend Shauzia, Parvana will risk everything to try and find out if her father is still alive.
Irish director Nora Twomey, who worked on The Secret of Kells, is in charge of the film, making her the only female director of an animated film released this year.
The film is produced by humanitarian and Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie, who said: “I am proud to be a part of this beautiful film with this timely and very important subject matter.
“Millions of girls around the world have to grow up before their time, working to provide for their families at a very young age and in difficult circumstances. They have the strength to do what no one should ask little girls to do.”
Jolie credited Nora Twomey and her team for their work, describing the film as “something very special.”
“They have breathed life into the characters and paid respect to the subject matter and to a country where women often struggle.”
Despite the Irish animation studio punching above its weight, a rule change introduced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences means The Breadwinner could struggle to secure a nomination.
Under previous rules, only Academy members who work in animation have been eligible to vote for nominees in the 'Best Animated Feature' category, leading to a mix of high-profile and indie fare.
For both The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, Cartoon Saloon has been recognised by fellow artists for the craft of hand-drawn animation. Even if the films didn't bring home an Oscar, the nominations significantly raised the profile of the Irish animation house, helping future films receive investment and distribution.
But from now on, the 'Best Animated Feature' nominee voting will be open to all active Academy members, meaning that studio movies like The Boss Baby or Despicable Me 3 will have a far stronger chance of making it to the final round of voting.
The Breadwinner will be released later in the year and you can watch the first trailer below: