Animated movie The Breadwinner – produced by Angelina Jolie’s production company Jolie Pas, received two thumbs up from its creator, Simcoe author Deborah Ellis.
The entire cast and crew, along with Ellis and Jolie, were in attendance as the 94-minute film based on the Ellis book premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival Sunday evening.
The movie chronicles the plight of a young Afghan girl that disguises herself as a boy in order to work and provide money for her family. The critically-acclaimed story is one of many that Ellis, an award-winning author and activist, has penned.
“It’s an incredibly beautiful film, they did incredible work on it,” Ellis said. “It’s not always an easy film because the subject matter is difficult, of course, but it’s also a film that gives you hope for people’s courage and strength and their ability to resist tyranny and come through something like that and go on to be kind to one another.”
First released in 2000, The Breadwinner book went on to be published in 25 languages and has earned more than $1 million in royalties for both Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International.
The story earned Ellis the Order of Canada in 2016.
Jolie Pas purchased its movie rights last year and, with director Nora Twomey leading the charge, it made it to the silver screen. Jolie served as an executive producer.
“It was an extraordinary production,” said Ellis. “The director told me they had 200 artists working on it at one point.”
Despite all the hoopla surrounding TIFF and the media in attendance, Ellis and the Hollywood A-lister did share a quiet moment together.
“(Jolie) was very kind and gracious and very committed to this film and to any projects that uplift victims of war or women and girls around the world,” Ellis said.
“I didn’t have a whole lot of preconceived notions having never done this before, but people were very kind and made it as easy as possible for myself and the other people involved.
“It was really great to spend time with the people that made the movie.”
The film is set to debut in England in the coming weeks before being released in China and North America later in the fall.
Ellis said Kent and Cindy Rapley, owners of The Strand Theatre in Simcoe, have plans to bring The Breadwinner to Norfolk.
See breadwinner | A2
BREADWINNER from A1
“It’s so wonderful having them in town and having their theatre in town,” she added. “It just makes Simcoe life even better.”
Ellis expects the movie to boost the book’s already immense popularity around the world, which will help spread its message.
“I hope that people will go see the film and talk about the impact of our decisions on people around the world. And that will lead us all to be able to make better decisions.”