The most anticipated animated feature from Ukraine, MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG, launches its international trailer and announces the date of its theatrical release and the star-studded voice cast of the local version. The film by Animagrad Studio (FILM.UA Group) that produced THE STOLEN PRINCESS (2018), will premiere in theaters domestically on December 29, 2022. The International release will be announced at a later date. The project and new video materials will be presented at the online European Film Market in Berlin, February 10-17, where EFM participants will also have a chance to attend two online screenings of the movie.
MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG is the story of Mavka – the Soul of the Forest, a strong unique female protagonist from classical literary fiction and mythology, set in the universe that blends ancient Slavic myths and legends with the modern narrative and novel 3D animation technologies. The animation is inspired by ancient traditions and rituals, ornaments and patterns, authentic visual symbols in costumes, folk melodies of Slavic peoples and also from classic fairytale drama “The Forest Song” by Ukrainian poetess Lesya Ukrainka.
The protagonist, a forest creature Mavka, serves as the Guardian of the Heart of the magic Forest and its Soul, and her journey begins with falling in love with a gifted musician Lukas, an ordinary village boy. Her feelings force her to face an impossible choice between love and her duty to protect her world. Mavka is the embodiment of virtues of selfless love, protection of nature, harmony and unity of two universes: the World of the Forest and the World of People, subjects universally appealing to both local and international audiences.
“MAVKA is undoubtedly the most anticipated release in the animation industry of Ukraine. This story is epic, touching and funny all at the same time, which we hope will captivate the audiences worldwide,” – comments Animagrad Studio CEO and producer Egor Olesov.
MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG is set in a magical world filled with original characters. The video does not reveal the whole plot, but outlines some of the events of the animated feature and hints on the adventures that await its characters. Along with Mavka, her beloved Lukas and her faithful friends Swampy the Kittyfrog, the grumpy forest noisekeeper Hush, beautiful water nymph Ondine and other characters from the World of Forest and the World of People will appear and be first heard on screen. Also, the viewers will meet the main female antagonist, the insidious and greedy Kylina, and her henchmen: Frol (a fashion designer and Kylina’s head minion), and Eric and Derek (two strong, tough, and straightforward mercenary brothers).
The team has also revealed some of the star-studded Ukrainian voice cast, listing popular singers and celebrities. Though the voices of lead character Mavka and some other creatures are yet to be announced. The international voice cast promises to be the same fabulous.
Locations where events unfold are of particular note. Consultants from the WWF-Ukraine helped artists create fantasy locations inspired by unique landscapes of Ukrainian forests and mountains. These are natural habitats for many rare and disappearing species of animals and plants that the animated film hopes to draw attention to by implementing them into the plot and settings.
MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG first made waves internationally when the first teaser was presented at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival MIFA content market in 2017. It gained further acclaim as the only Ukrainian project to be selected to be pitched at the most significant European animation forum Cartoon Movie in Bordeaux for two years in a row. “The distribution rights to the film have already been acquired by 10 companies that operate on 20 international territories, including countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.” – emphasizes Evgeniy Drachov, FILM.UA Distribution (international sales of the project).
Over the years of its development and production the animated film project MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG has grown into a cross-media multi-platform IP with a very high level of knowledge among local audiences – Mavka Universe, which brings together people from the creative, technological and business spheres, scientific and public institutions, government agencies. A number of licensing products have been already launched on the market (foods, books, apparel, accessories, branding of spaces etc) and a lot of new ones are in the pipeline (stationary, toys, etc). The film is created with the support of the Ukrainian State Film Agency (USFA), the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine (ICIP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).