GKIDS CEO and founder Eric Beckman and SVP Distribution David Jesteadt have come aboard to executive produce The Breadwinner, the new film from animation studio Cartoon Saloon. The two companies teamed on Oscar Animated Feature nominees The Secret Of Kells and Song Of The Sea. It marks the first time GKIDS is serving in a producing and financing capacity in addition to distribution. A fall 2017 theatrical release is planned.

Directed by Kells co-director Nora Twomey and based on Deborah Ellis’ YA novel, The Breadwinner centrs on Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime, who cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family after her father is imprisoned. The book was originally published in 2000.

Aircraft Pictures’ Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen are producing the pic with Cartoon Saloon’s Tomm Moore and Paul Young, and Melusine Productions’ Stephan Roelants. Angelina Jolie Pitt is also exec producing.

“We’ve been long-standing friends with everyone at Cartoon Saloon since those heady days when we celebrated our first Oscar nomination together for The Secret Of Kells, and again five years later for Song Of The Sea. We knew we needed to be involved with The Breadwinner once we learned Nora would be bringing Deborah Ellis’ beautiful and compelling story to the big screen. We’re thrilled that this film marks our first foray into the creative process and we look forward to supporting Nora and the team in bringing their vision to audiences everywhere.”

The film will be produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, the Irish Film Board, Film Fund Luxembourg, the Harold Greenberg Fund, Shaw Rocket Fund, the OMDC and the BAI along with Gaia Entertainment and the Artemis Rising Foundation.