Cartoon Saloon has been nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature three times. Beginning in 1999, the Kilkenny-based animation studio has boasted this incredible achievement with their features The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and The Breadwinner (their most recent effort). Though they are yet to win an award, the fact that they have been nominated gives Ireland a great sense of pride and recognition from Hollywood.
The Breadwinner is based on the children’s novel of the same name, by Deborah Ellis. It tells the story of Parvana who lives in Kabul, Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban. After her father is arrested and the family are forced to stay indoors, since they can’t go anywhere without a man, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to become the breadwinner and go out in search of food.
In an interview with journal.ie, Paul Young, co-founder of Cartoon Salon, says “getting nominated really is the win for us in many ways”. In the same interview, Young also said “when you’re an independent film it’s all about awareness – you want the 6,000 members of the academy to actually see your film”.