The Breadwinner Director Nora Twomey
Director Nora Twomey

#IrishAbroad: Irish Film London and WFTV hosted Nora Twomey for preview screening of The Breadwinner

Irish Film London (IFL), Ireland’s film and animation champions in the UK this week partnered with the Women in Film & TV UK (WFTV) network, publisher Emerald Street and distributor Studio Canal on an exclusive preview screening and panel discussion for the Academy Award nominated Irish film The Breadwinner. Over 180 people attended the event which was held at the Ham Yard Hotel in London’s West End.

The feature length animation, which was executive produced by Angelina Jolie, tells the story of Parvana, a young girl living under Taliban rule in 2001 Afghanistan. After the wrongful arrest of her father, she must cut off her hair and dress like a boy to support her family. In her new role she soon discovers a completely different world filled with both freedom and danger.

The film’s themes of strong independent female characters persevering despite oppressive patriarchal structures found well-voiced ambassadors in the post-screening panel discussion. Chaired by Empire Magazine film journalist Helen O’Hara, the panel included former BAFTA Chair and current board member of WFTV Anne Morrison, BBC correspondent Yalda Hakim and the film’s director Nora Twomey, also co-founder of Cartoon Saloon.

Parvana’s story raised discussions among the panel around international women’s rights issues, the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns and the under-representation of women in front of and behind the camera.

Attendees, who were comprised of Irish film and animation fans, women’s rights advocates and key industry influencers reacted with great warmth for the film. One attendee said “what a moving, thought-provoking and beautiful movie it was”.

Photo credits: Noel Mullen

We at WFTV are delighted to mark our first collaboration with Irish Film London with this event. The Breadwinner is an extraordinarily powerful film about the hazards overcome by a brave young girl living in Kabul under Taliban rule. Although women are still under-represented in the animation industry, we celebrate the fact that in this film, director Nora Twomey led a creative team with equal numbers of men and women. Anne Morrison, Board of Directors – Women in Film & TV UK (WFTV)

We couldn’t be happier to champion this beautiful film, and to partner with the wonderful women at WFTV and Studio Canal for this event. As huge fans of Nora Twomey, who is such an inspiration for aspiring Irish female animators and film makers, it’s been an honour to celebrate her work here in London. We encourage you to check it out in your local cinema this weekend. Kelly O’Connor, Founder – Irish Film London

The Breadwinner is out in UK and Irish cinemas from Friday 25th May 2018.