Variety is reporting that Canadian animation-house Guru Studio has joined the development of the Nora Twomey-directed animated feature The Breadwinner.

The film is directed by Nora Twomey (co-director, Academy Award®-nominated The Secret of Kells) with screen story by Ellis and screenplay by Anita Doron. The Breadwinner is the story of Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, who must disguise herself as a boy to 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 with a cast that includes many performers of Afghan descent.

The Breadwinner features the voice talents of Saara Chaudry (Max & Shred) in the role of Parvana, Soma Bhatia (Degrassi: Next Class) as Shauzia, Laara Sadiq (Remedy) as Parvana’s mother Fattema, Ali Badshah (The Cat In The Hat) as Parvana’s father Nurullah, Shaista Latif (This is the Life) as Parvana’s sister Soraya, and Kawa Ada (Jihad Gigilo) as Razaq.

Guru will provide animation, key craft personnel and expertise on the film, with Frank Falcone, Guru’s president and creative director, and Mary Bredin, EVP content & strategy, joining as executive producers. Guru’s Stuart Shankly (who worked on Cartoon Saloon’s previous feature Song of the Sea) is working as assistant director, and is currently spending several months in Ireland helping on the start of production.

In addition to Guru the film is a collaborative effort of Canada’s Aircraft Pictures, Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon and Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions in association with Angelina Jolie Pitt’s Jolie Pas Productions. The Breadwinner will be produced with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund, the Irish Film Board, Film Fund Luxembourg, Mimi Gitlin Productions, The Shaw Rocket Fund, Artemis Rising Foundation, The Broadcast Authority of Ireland, The Ontario Media Development Corporation, The Harold Greenberg Fund, RTE, Movie Central, The Movie Network a division of Bell Media Inc., the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.

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