Angelina Jolie was a ''great support'' on 'The Breadwinner'.

The 42-year-old actress-and-director served as executive producer on the new animation - which is about an 11-year-old girl in Afghanistan, who disguises herself as a boy to get work after her father is arrested - and director Nora Twomey loved the fact she took the time to record encouraging video messages and walk the red carpet with the cast of the film, who are largely unknown names.

Nora told Britain's Grazia magazine: ''For her to be doing that with them was a huge thing. She was a great support all the way through.

''She didn't force her view but was just very encouraging. She's such a storyteller...

''If you look at the persona of Angelina Jolie, I was quite surprised by the level of support she gave. But when I got to meet her in person, it wasn't surprising at all.

''The reality of Angelina is one that is very kind, very thoughtful, and wants to help.''

As well as drawing on the 'By the Sea' filmmaker's knowledge of Afghanistan and conflict zones, Nora admitted Angelina's Hollywood experience also helped her as a director.

She said: ''It's not about her view, but rather Angelina's ability to listen and make a story from the material she has.

''You get a sense that you feel the characters, rather than the director, and that was a big lesson for me. It was a very, very positive experience.''

Nora first sent Angelina the script in 2013 and didn't even expect her to look at it.

She admitted: ''I wasn't even expecting Angelina to read the script, being as high-profile as she is.

''For her to take the time to read it is asking a lot.

''I was nervous about meeting her, but she has a huge interest in the rights of children around the world and in Afghanistan, so she understood the film and wanted to guide us in any way that she could.''