Mavka — a Soul of the Forest and its Warden — faces an impossible choice between love and her duty as guardian to the Heart of the Forest, when she falls in love with a human — the talented young musician Lukas.
The project is based on a drama ‘The Forest Song’ by Lesya Ukrainka, as well on the images of Slavic mythology. The heroes and themes elaborated in the story will appeal to the widest audience around the world, but its authentic Ukrainian charm will bring something new to the animation genre. The plot of Mavka will catch the attention of both adults and children, either with its spirit and originality, or with humor and adventures.
Nature and its well-being will play one of the significant roles in the setup of the story. As one of the film’s elements meant to support that mission, Mavka’s Forest will be inhabited by endangered species of animals and plants to raise awareness about the extinction problem and the loss of natural habitats. A "Let's save the lynx!" campaign was started together with WWF Ukraine – the partner of the movie.
Popularization and worldwide export of Ukrainian culture, its yet undiscovered uniqueness and authentic attributes (traditions, rituals, music, locations, ornaments etc) are among the project’s missions. Thus, established Ukrainian fashion designer Olga Navrotska will be in charge of character’s costumes. Her designs combine elements such as fantasy, national motifs, allusions of beautiful nature and echoes of myths, all of which resonate with the subject of the film and the worlds within it.
Sets and exteriors used in the film are based on real Ukrainian locations and famous touristic attractions: the Carpathian and Polissya forests, Vilkovo village, Buky Canyon.
Original soundtrack will be written by well-known Ukrainian musicians, and will be a mix of Ukrainian folk tunes in modern adaptations, as well as compositions created exceptionally for the movie. Ukrainian ethno-house band DakhaBrakha and Ukrainian musician Maksym Berezhnyuk were the first ones to work on the OST.
Genre: fantasy, lovestory, comedy
Run time: 90 min.
Target audience: family
Format: 3D Stereo
Style: 3D animation
Sound: Dolby Digital
Language: English, Ukrainian, Russian
Production: Animagrad & FILM.UA
Producers: Iryna Kostyuk, Anna Eliseeva, Egor Olesov
Director: Oleksandra Ruban, Oleg Malamuzh
Scriptwriter: Yaroslav Voytseshek
Art-director: Kristian Koskinen
Rights holder: Animagrad (FILM.UA Group)
Delivery year: 2021
Release year: 2022
Supported by Ukrainian State Film Agency
Experts from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University folklore department (Olena Ivanovska, Olesia Naumovska, Oleksiy Dolia) and the National Folklore Center “Ivan Honchar Museum” (Myroslava Vertiuk, Petro Honchar) provide their expert advice to help interpret Ukrainian myths, legends and rituals featured in the Mavka Universe.
Olga Navrotska, the founder of NAVRO brand, joined the team as a costume designer. She reimagined the traditional folk costume and created the unique, one of a kind style for the aminated movie heroine. Mavka’s style by NAVRO inspired Olga Navrotska to create her MAVKA capsule collection that includes dresses, blouses and scarves.
Ukrainian Institute of Fashion History (Maria Kvitka) provided expert advice to the creative team on the matters related to traditional folk costume. The Institute helped to get access to authentic items from private collections. Their elements are used to put the finishing touch on the original style of the aminated movie heroes.
The special series of books was published with support from Kyiv Book House. The book series contains the new edition of the classic fantasy play by Lesya Ukrainka “The Forest Song” in Ukrainian and English in a movie tie-in cover, and as well the version adapted for children with illustrations from the animated movie and a sketchbook featuring its heroes.
Experts from the World Wildlife Fund Ukraine provide expert advice on the matters of Polissya region flora and fauna. WWF Ukraine as well took part in planning the All-Ukrainian long-term fundraiser “Let's save the lynx!” with the purpose to draw attention to endangered Ukrainian flora and fauna and provide further support the study focused on Eurasian lynx population in Polissya region that has been included in the endangered species list.