Oscar-nominated Kilkenny company Cartoon Saloon has begun key animation on The Breadwinner, the adaptation of Deborah Ellis' young adult bestseller which Angelina Jolie Pitt's production company is bringing to the big screen.

The Breadwinner tells the story of Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. When her father is unjustly imprisoned, Parvana has to disguise herself as a boy in a bid to make ends meet. 

The film is directed by Nora Twomey, who co-directed Cartoon Saloon's Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells, and is due for release in Summer 2017.

The Breadwinner is a co-production involving Ireland, Canada and Luxembourg which is being made in association with Jolie Pitt's Jolie Pas Productions. RTÉ, Bord Scannán na-hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland are among the backers. Jolie Pitt is among the executive producers.

The film is a passion project for Jolie Pitt. She funds a girls' school in Afghanistan and her own children have read The Breadwinner

Cartoon Saloon, which was also Oscar-nominated for Song of the Sea in 2015, has just completed work on the second series of its pre-school show Puffin Rock, which is shown on RTÉ2.