18 May 2018

Today Marche du Film in Cannes, a major global film market, finishes its work. FILM.UA Group has traditionally participated in the film market with its stand in Riviera; the Group projects were also presented at the national stand in Village International.

FILM.UA Group headliners at Marche du Film 2018 were Mavka. The Forest Song (Animagrad, FILM.UA Group), Gareth Jones(Film Produkcja, Kinorob, FILM.UA Group, CrabApple Film; int. distribution WestEnd Films), Rising Hawk (Kinorob, FILM.UA Group), and The Stolen Princess(Animagrad, FILM.UA Group. In Cannes, we announced the opening of pre-sales for Mavka. The Forest Song animated feature; the full cast was disclosed and the first shot presented for Gareth Jones political thriller.

Thanks to our activities at the markets and pitches and the attention of the international press, everybody at the market knows about MAVKA. No doubt, the opening of sales started a new development stage both for the project and the Group as a whole. At Marche du Film we received offers from the Baltic countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Vietnam, ex-Yugoslavia countries, Portugal, India, and Israel– all of them wishing to buy distribution rights from us, so we started intense negotiations with these territories. Besides, at Marche du Film MAVKA was sold to MENA countries. The distributor on these territories is Italia Film International, a sub-distributor of Walt Disney Studios; in April, it screened The Stolen Princess there,” says Igor Storchak, distribution director at FILM.UA Group.  

Igor Storchak and Evgeniy Drachev note significant interest in the project; the first shots from the future film were screened at the market for the first time, along with the new concept art and AR poster, and the audience’s delight has been evident with each brand showcase.

The following market we’ll be presenting MAVKA at will be SIFF market under the aegis of Shanghai International Film Festival. Potential buyers from China are the ones most interested in the project: they see similarities between our cultures and “closeness” of MAVKA universe key elements to the Chinese mentality, especially to the authentic music sounding in the film and the ability of the cartoon’s protagonist to change her appearance depending on her mood.That is why our potential sale to China doesn’t just mean a sale of an animation feature but one of the whole Universe, i.e., adaptation of VR and AR applications, branded books and children’s merchandise sales, series and 3D show production rights, clothing lines, and authentic jewelry,” says Evgeniy Drachev, international sales manager at FILM.UA Group.

Besides, Evgeniy and Igor managed to reach an agreement to sell rights to The Stolen Princess animated film to Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Indonesia). According to the deal terms, the theatrical release on this territory will be ensured by Antenna Entertainment. Also, the project will be released in Spain, with Selecta Vision as a distributor. Negotiations about film sales to Italy also started at this market.

Evgeniy and I are grateful to the project team, namely producer Egor Olesov, delivery manager Nadya Korotushka who organizes and ensures The Stolen Princess materials transfer to our international partners, production manager Oleksandra Lutsenko who organizes the preparation of these materials, PR and marketing department headed by Polina Tolmacheva – its work was highly visible in Ukraine, and it is the one taking care of the Princess’s international promotion. At Marche du Film, we received a lot of compliments about the work of these people; our clients from different countries say that they haven’t received such amount of high-quality and diverse promotion materials from any other independent content producer,” says Igor Storchak.    

Besides, during the market Variety published an exclusive article about the full cast of Gareth Jones political thriller, with the first official shot from the film.

It is worth noting the press’s interest towards Ukraine this year in general. Articles about Gareth Jones came out in all key publications of the Cannes film market/festival as well as Ukrainian and Polish media outlets. On the very first day, MAVKA pre-sales start was announced on the first page of Cannes Market News, the market’s official publication, and in Animation Magazine online. Besides, Cannes Market News published a separate article with a focus on Ukrainian film industry.  

Therefore, the following markets for our projects are MIFA at Annecy animation festival and SIFF Market at Shanghai International Film Festival, both taking place almost at the same time in June, in France and China respectively. The headliner stays the same!  


FILM.UA Group is a creative powerhouse and one of the largest Eastern European media groups, operating in global markets and covering the full production cycle: development, production, adaptation and distribution of audiovisual content through the vertical business structure.

MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG is the second animated feature by Animagrad (FILM.UA Group), now in the pre-production stage. The film is created based on Lesya Ukrainka’s play The Forest Song and also on Ukrainian myths and cultural traditions.

WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is a partner of MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG project. The cooperation involves Ukrainian WWF experts consulting the film’s creative team on flora and fauna in Polissya; a second important partnership vector is the implementation of a range of projects to protect Polissya’s primordial forests and to raise awareness of the Ukranian and global community about environmental issues in Ukraine.

The experts of leading national ethnographic institutions, namely the Chair of Folklore Studies in Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, Ivan Honchar Museum, and Museum of Ukrainian Fashion History, work as part of the film crew on interpreting Ukrainian myths, legends, beliefs, rituals, and visual culture in the unique animated world of MAVKA.

The globally known musicians from DakhaBrakha band joined in to create the cartoon’s soundtrack.   

MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG won the 9th competition of the Ukrainian State Film Agency in September 2016 and obtained state financing in the amount of 30 percent from the total budget. On May 8 in Cannes, international pre-sales for project rights were opened.

The planned release date for MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG animated feature is 2020.