Oscar nominee has strong Derry roots

'The Breadwinner.'
'The Breadwinner.'

County Derry will have cause for celebration if 'The Breadwinner' brings home an Oscar in March.

That's because one of the film's producers has strong roots in Derry.

Paul Young, a co-founder of the Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon company, has family in Ballymaguigan.

He also went to college in the North.

His new film, 'The Breadwinner', tells the story of Parvana, a young Afghan girl who must disguise herself as a boy in order to be able to work and provide for her family in Kabul in 2001, and has been nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.

Mr. Young's father Sean was originally from the loughshore of County Derry but moved to Boyle, Co. Roscommon, the home of fellow movie stars Chris O'Dowd and Maureen O'Sullivan, years ago.

The Roscommon animator studied art and design at the University of Ulster in the 1990s and has been twice nominated for Oscars for the acclaimed feature length cartoons 'The Secret of Kells' and 'Song of the Sea.'

He also helped bring ‘Puffin Rock’ - a concept created by the Derry-based illustrator Dog Ears - to the small screen.

Congratulating Mr. Young on his nomination. Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan alluded to the fact that he is, in fact, an honorary Derry man.

"I pay tribute to my neighbour and friend, Paul Young, from Cartoon Saloon who received his third Oscar nomination today for the film 'The Breadwinner'.

"His father was Sean Young, a bank manager who came from Ballymaguigan, Co. Derry and lived across the street from me.

"We are very proud in Boyle of our two movie stars, Paul Young and Chris O'Dowd. Boyle was also the home of Maureen O'Sullivan who lived up the street from me and played the role of Jane in the 'Tarzan' series of films. Boyle is a town from which many film stars have come, which I hope will be recognised," he said.