working with angelina jolie on the breadwinner
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Irish Filmmaker Nora Twomey:

Working with Angelina Jolie on The Breadwinner

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Working with Angelina Jolie on The Breadwinner

Irish Filmmaker Nora Twomey
Washington - Arab Today

Irish filmmaker Nora Twomey has been working closely with Hollywood heavyweight Angelina Jolie on her latest film project, The Breadwinner.

The animated film is based on the bestselling children’s novel of the same name by Deborah Ellis, which tells the story of a headstrong young girl living under the Taliban in Afghanistan, who is forced to disguise herself as a boy to provide for her family.

Jolie, 40, joined the project as executive producer during the summer, and has played a vital role making sure that it does justice to the subject matter.

The film, due to be completed by early 2017, marks a milestone in Twomey’s career. Not only is it a departure from her previous film projects, which were based on Irish folklore – she co-directed The Secret of Kells (2009), and was head of story and voice director on Song of the Sea (2014), which was the opening film of the European Film Screenings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in October – it is also her solo directorial debut.

“Once I’d read the book, I knew I wanted to direct this film,” she says.

“It’s a great challenge for us in the studio to try to tell a really simple, strong, profound story from this part of the world, which you hear about a lot in the news.”

“Angelina read the script, looked at the artwork with her children, and really loved the approach we were taking. I think she involves her children in lots of her decisions and certainly shows them things that are of interest to them. They helped her to make the decision to be involved in the project. It’s the kind of film that they like.”

Jolie’s company, Jolie Pas ­Productions, is working with Nora Twomey’s Cartoon Saloon as well as Canada’s Aircraft Pictures and Mélusine Productions from Luxembourg.

Due to Jolie’s hectic schedule, Twomey, 44, has been flying out to meet the Oscar-winning actress and run ideas by her, although Jolie has promised that she will drop by the Cartoon Saloon studio, which is in Kilkenny, Ireland, to see production in full swing.

“I’ve been taking the work to her as much as possible,” says Twomey. “We’ve been meeting in London where she was based over the early autumn. She’s now also prepping for her next film, which is set in Cambodia, so she’s tremendously busy.

“It’s a difficult story to tell in many ways. Angelina is so sensitive about the whole thing. She understood what we were trying to do and has helped guide us quite a bit. She is a hugely important part of this project.”

In her role as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Jolie regularly visits areas of conflict around the world. She has been to Afghanistan at least twice in recent years, and funds a girls school north of Kabul through profits from her jewellery ­collection.

“Angelina is so knowledgeable about Afghanistan and other areas of conflict, and she really means it – it’s something that she thinks deeply about and understands the complexities of,” says Twomey. “She has a very sensitive view of what its like to live there. Having help on the story from somebody who really understands the subject matter has been priceless. And having a fellow filmmaker to talk to about the artistic elements of the film has been fantastic.”

Jolie is donating all the proceeds from her work on The Breadwinner to the education of Afghan girls. She was also keen for it to be as authentic as possible.

“Angelina was adamant that we try to find as many cast as we could from the Afghani community in Canada, where we were recording the voices,” says Twomey.
Source: The National

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