Ajyal Film Festival 2024

Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2017

All Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2017 Films

The Breadwinner

Ajyal Competition, Special Screening - Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2017

Nora Twomey / Feature Narrative / Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg / 2017 / 93 min / Colour / DCP / In English / Arabic subtitles / MENA Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 13. Individuals under the age of 13 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or older.


Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a tiny apartment building in war-torn Kabul. She grows up listening to stories told by her father while helping him in the marketplace, where he reads and writes letters for people to earn a living.

One day, her father is arrested by the authorities, and Parvana’s life is changed forever. During a time in a place where women are not allowed to leave home without men, her family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food.

To help, Parvana decides to cut her hair and disguise herself as a boy, turning herself into the breadwinner for the family. And though she is in danger of being discovered, she is resolved to find a way to rescue her father.

‘The Breadwinner’ is a wonderful tale of female empowerment and imagination in the face of oppression – and a celebration of the culture, history and beauty of Afghanistan. Executive-produced by Angelina Jolie, the film recently took the top prize at the Animation Is Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Official Film Website

About the Director

Nora Twomey oversees the development of Cartoon Saloon’s slate of productions. Twomey directed the multi-award-winning short films ‘From Darkness’ (2002) and ‘Backwards Boy’ (2004), and was co-director of the Academy Award-nominated animated feature ‘The Secret of Kells’ (2009). She then served as Head of Story on the company’s second feature, ‘Song of the Sea’ (2014), which was also nominated for an Oscar. ‘The Breadwinner’, a feature adaptation of Deborah Ellis’s best-selling young adult novel, is her debut as a solo feature director.


Nora Twomey
Anita Doron, Deborah Ellis
Anthony Leo, Andrew Rosen, Paul Young, Tomm Moore, Stephan Roelants
Darragh Byrne
Executive Producer
Angelina Jolie, Gerry Shirren, Mimi Polk Gitlin, Jon Levin, Regina K. Scully, Eric Beckman, David Jesteadt, Mary Bredin, Frank Falcone, Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim
Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna
Sheldon Lisoy
Sales Company
Westend Films
Production Company
Cartoon Saloon, Aircraft Pictures, Melusine Productions
Assistant Director
Stuart Shankly
ECS Films
Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif, Ali Badshah, Kawa Ada, Noorin Gulamgaus

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