The Breadwinner, the story of a young girl growing up under the Taliban regime, received the Grand Prize, selected by the festival jury, and the Audience Award, selected by audience members, at the inaugural Animation Is Film festival that took place over the weekend in Hollywood.
From Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon and helmed by Nora Twomey, co-director of the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner is based on the young adult book of the same name by Deborah Ellis. Angelina Jolie was an executive producer on the film, which she introduced during its U.S. premiere Friday at the fest.
Additionally, a Special Jury Prize was awarded to The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales, a comedic hand-drawn animated film from Oscar-nominated Benjamin Renner (Ernest & Celestine) and Patrick Imbert. The pic was produced by Oscar-nominated Didier Brunner (Ernest & Celestine).
Speaking on behalf of the jury, its chair, Variety critic Peter Debruge, said, “The Breadwinner is not just an incredibly important film, but one that reminds us of the power of animation to communicate serious issues in the world. Transforming hardship into a warm and moving story, the movie represents a triumph by its director, Nora Twomey, in terms of script, voice acting, design, music and editing. The films in competition this year illustrated the many techniques and possibilities of animation, but The Breadwinner was a clear favorite among our jury. Special Jury Prize goes to The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, a comedy that celebrates the joys of traditional cartoon animation.”
GKIDS will release The Breadwinner on Nov. 17 in North America. The Big Bad Fox, also a GKIDS release, will have its Oscar-qualifying run later this year.
(Editor's note: The Hollywood Reporter's Carolyn Giardina also served as a member of the festival jury.)