As the political and entertainment establishment continues to reject toxic masculinity and industry, the mounting movement to place our attention and investment on productions and issues truly worth the global public’s time and money is reaching critical mass. And that movement will likely sweep The Breadwinner into the coming awards season, and further institutionalize animation as an art form unlike any other. With that in mind, my latest report for Carton Brew, featuring Nora Twomey, Angelina Jolie, and many more animation talents from across the cultural and geographic spectrum, in honor of the inaugural Animation Is Film festival.
Animation Is Film Festival Challenged Audiences To ‘Take Their Blinders Off’
The name of the Animation is Film festival is a statement of purpose, as well as fact. As awards season progresses, that statement is likely to be supported by nominations and wins — including perhaps an Oscar.
The first win came shortly after the conclusion of the inaugural Hollywood-based festival, co-sponsored by Cartoon Brew, in the form of a grand jury prize for The Breadwinner, director Nora Twomey’s powerfully moving adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ novel about a young Afghan girl masquerading as a boy to survive the reactionary reign of the Taliban.
Making its U.S. premiere ahead of a November 17 theatrical bid for Oscar qualification, The Breadwinner also swept the Animation is Film festival’s audience award, an honor influenced by the attendance of co-executive producer Angelina Jolie, who spoke both to a sizable press contingent and premiere audience of the topicality and universality of the film’s exploration of perpetual war and gender politics.
“The care and commitment that the crew and production have put into this film, determined to make it so authentic, is something I’m sure you will see and very much appreciate,” Jolie told the sold-out audience. “This film asks us to put our imagination, and ourselves, in another person’s shoes, in this case the shoes of an 11-year-old Afghan girl. It puts our own lives and issues into context when we consider what little girls in Afghanistan have been up against. There are few countries in the world where it is harder to be a young girl, where barriers between girls and their dreams — and their rights — are so high, and so painful to experience and observe.”