Irish animation outfit Cartoon Saloon, one of the producers behind Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells and upcoming Tomm Moore animation Song of the Sea, is in development on new project The Breadwinner, a co-production with Canadian company Aircraft Pictures.

The Secret of Kells co-director Nora Twomey from Cartoon Saloon will direct the film, which will be produced in Ireland and Canada. Production is planned to begin this year.

Deborah Ellis and Anita Doron’s adaptation of Ellis’ novel of the same name follows Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan who must disguise herself as a boy and become the breadwinner of the family when her father is unfairly imprisoned for being an intellectual.

Development work on the project has been assisted by Telefilm Canada, the Irish Film Board, The Belinda Stronach Foundation and Movie Central, a Corus Entertainment company.

Cartoon Saloon was established by Tomm Moore, Paul Young and Nora Twomey in 1999.

Toronto-based film, TV and digital media company Aircraft Pictures is headed by Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen.