Nora Twomey

Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg , 2017 / 94 min / English OV with French subt. (EN OV with FR subt.) / Animation, Family

Luxembourgish Premiere | Oscars 2018 Nominee
In the presence of the film crew

A headstrong girl provides for her family in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. 

Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a tiny apartment building in war-torn Kabul under Taliban rule. One day, her father is arrested and Parvana’s life changed forever. In a time and place where women are not allowed to leave home without men, her mother finds herself stuck in the apartment, the family left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. To rescue her father and help her family survive, Parvana decides to cut her hair and disguise herself as a boy.

“The Breadwinner” directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan, while powerfully suggesting that storytelling is both a means of coping and a solution for change”. Peter Debruge, Variety, 03/11/2017

The screening on the Opening Night on 22nd February will be followed by a concert of electronic artist Ryvage.

Thu 22/02 09:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR subt. (9+) Scolaire
Thu 22/02 18:45 Kinepolis Kirchberg EN OV with FR subt. Projection privée
Fri 23/02 09:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR subt. (12+) Scolaire

“’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’, said jury chairman and Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge. ‘The films in competition this year illustrated the many techniques and possibilities of animation, but The Breadwinner was a clear favourite among our jury’.” Terry Flores, Variety, 24/10/2017

“In her first solo stint at the helm of a feature, Nora Twomey, who co-directed the dazzling Secret of Kells, sugarcoats nothing about Parvana's story, even while layering it with a touch of enchantment. (…) The involvement of Angelina Jolie will certainly boost the profile of the Ireland-Canada-Luxembourg co-production, which joins the ranks of such hard-hitting animated features as Waltz With Bashir and Persepolis in its artful alchemy of personal particulars through the prism of political conflict”. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 24/10/2017

The Breadwinner is by no means a simple-minded kidpic; rather, it directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan, while powerfully suggesting that storytelling is both a means of coping and a solution for change. (…) The Breadwinner proves nothing short of exceptional, celebrating as it does a young woman who faces adversity head-on — and who relies on her own creativity, both as a storyteller and in practical situations, to adapt to whatever obstacles she faces. Amid a palette toned down significantly from the brilliant emerald and sapphire tones of The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, Parvana’s green eyes seem all the more striking. Equally important to the personality of the overall film is Jeff and Mychael Danna’s stunning score, which takes its cues from the region, while capturing that essential sense of optimism that make Parvana such a remarkable heroine”. Peter Debruge, Variety, 03/11/2017


  • Grand Prize Winner, Animation is Film Festival, 2017 (USA)
  • Audience Award, Animation is Film Festival, 2017 (USA)
Cast & Credits
Saara Chaudry, Soma Bhatia, Laara Sadiq, Ali Badshah, Kawa Ada, Shaista Latif, Noorin Gulamgaus
Anita Doron, Deborah Ellis, based on Deborah Ellis’s book of the same name
Nelson Ferreira, J.R. Fountain
Ciaran Duffy, Reza Riahi
Jeff Danna, Mychael Danna
Aircraft Pictures, Cartoon Saloon, Melusine Productions, Jolie Pas Productions
Westend Films Ltd (Sales) / Tarantula Distribution (Distributor for Luxembourg)
Fabian Erlinghauser, Nicolas Debray

Nora Twomey was born in 1971 in Cork, Ireland. After completing her studies in animation at the Ballyfermot College, Dublin, she went on to establish the studio Cartoon Saloon, where she has since worked as co-creative director, overseeing the development of among others “Puffin Rock” (2015), picked up by Netflix. She co-directed “The Secret of Kells” (2009), and worked as head of story and voice director for “Song of the Sea” (2014), both nominated for an Oscar as Best Animated Feature. “The Breadwinner” (2017) is her solo feature debut.

  • 2017 – The Breadwinner
  • 2009 – The Secret of Kells (Co-Director)
  • 2004 – Cúilín Dualach (Short)
  • 2002 – From Darkness (Short)