Toronto-based Guru Studio has boarded the highly anticipated 2D-animated feature “The Breadwinner,” directed by Ireland’s Nora Twomey, who co-directed with Tomm Moore the Academy Award-nominated “The Secret of Kells,” one of the high points of modern European movie animation.
Currently in production on two Netflix Originals series being developed in-house – “Justin Time” and “True and the Rainbow Kingdom” – Guru will provide animation and key craft personnel and expertise on “The Breadwinner.” Twomey’s first solo feature, it is produced by Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, Canada’s Aircraft Pictures and Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions, in association with Angeline Jolie Pitt’s Jolie Pas Productions.
“The Breadwinner” is a tale of female empowerment in the face of oppression, and is described by its makers as a film that celebrates the culture, history and beauty of Afghanistan. The story centers on a young Afghan girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to become her family’s breadwinner after her father is imprisoned by the Taliban.
Frank Falcone, Guru’s president and creative director, and Mary Bredin, EVP content & strategy, are joining the film as executive producers. Guru’s Stuart Shankly (“Ever After High,” “Song of the Sea”) is working as assistant director, spending several months in Ireland at the start of production, Guru said in a statement Tuesday. The Canadian studio’s Sanatan Suryavanshi, the production art supervisor for the film, is collaborating with Cartoon Saloon’s sequence and art director to develop the look of key sequences.
Cartoon Saloon and Melusine co-produced Moore’s “Song of Sea,” his follow-up to “Kells.” Melusine’s other co-production credits include “Ernest & Celestine” which, like “Song of the Sea,” was nominated for an Academy Award in the animated feature category.
Guru has also acted as a production partner on U.S. pre-school hit “Paw Patrol,” in collaboration with “Spinmaster” and Nick Jr., the BAFTA-nominated “Dinopaws” for Toronto’s Treehouse and BBC, and Mattel’s Netflix original series “Ever After High.