Animated joy with 50 new jobs for city

Kilkenny has proven to be a big draw for animators with the announcement of 50 new jobs for the Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon over the coming months.

Kilkenny has proven to be a big draw for animators with the announcement of 50 new jobs for the Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon over the coming months.

The announcement is a further endorsement of the creative talent that exists in the animation studio which was founded in 1999 by Kilkenny man Tomm Moore and Paul Young.

Production on the studio’s third feature length film, The Breadwinner, will start in April with approximately 30 crew members employed on the project.

The film will be directed by Nora Twomey from Cartoon Saloon, co-director of the Academy Award ® nominee for Best Animated Feature The Secret of Kells and director of the multiple award-winning short films From Darkness and Cúilín Dualach (Backwards Boy).

Financing is completed for the film, based on Deborah Ellis’ bestselling novel.

The $10m production has backing from Telefilm Canada, the Irish Film Board, private investors and other organisations.

“I thought raising finance for The Breadwinner was going to take some time” said co-founder of Cartoon Saloon, Paul Young “but it has taken much less time than we are used to. The subject matter that motivated us as filmmakers has also motivated investors, who we are very grateful to.”

The film is a co-production with the Canadian film company Aircraft Pictures and Luxembourg based Melusine Productions (co-producer on Cartoon Saloon’s latest release, Song of the Sea).

The Breadwinner tells the story of Parvana, a young girl living under Taliban rule in Afghanistan who disguises herself as a boy to support her family when her father is unfairly imprisoned.

Meanwhile a further 20 jobs will be created at the studio when the second series of Puffin Rock starts pre-production in January.

The show will be broadcast by RTÉ Jr and Nick UK. Partners on that show are Dog Ears and Penguin.

Both projects are expected to run for approximately 14 months.