UNBREAKABLE UKRAINIAN CREATORS. Despite the war, MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG animated film is at the final stage of production and is heading to Cannes Film Market

18 May 2022
UNBREAKABLE UKRAINIAN CREATORS. Despite the war, MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG animated film is at the final stage of production and is heading to Cannes Film Market

Ukraine’s Animagrad animation studio (FILM.UA Group) is at the final stage of  production of the much anticipated animated feature film MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG. Despite the full scale war unraveled by russia, the work continues, and the project will be delivered according to the plan, in Q4 2022. MAVKA is the headliner of the studio’s lineup of projects, with many  countries having already acquired the rights. Now, the release of the film will be even a more significant and symbolic event for Ukrainians than ever, since not only the project showcases the unique ancient Ukrainian culture, but also celebrates the victory of love and peace.

It took the studio several days since the start of russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine to reorganize the production process and continue its work. The Mavka team created a special video with an emotional message to the world and shared their experiences of how the work is done by each of them while the country is defending itself. Under different life circumstances (either temporarily displaced, sheltering from bombs, living on ex-occupied territories, etc), all of them found an opportunity to return to work. The video also contains some of the not seen before scenes and shots from MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG.   

“The initial mission of the project — to promote and export Ukrainian culture, traditions and values — becomes even more significant during these hard times for our country. Our stories are our weapon.  So, we have to be loud. One of the instruments for us to be loud is to make a huge effort now not only to finish the production, but also to distribute the rights to as many countries as possible, so that we are heard all over the globe. Also for that purpose we are trying to involve international star talent — especially those who have publicly declared their support to Ukraine — to be the voice cast of our wonderful characters of the international version of the movie,” says Iryna Kostyuk, producer of the film.

MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG is a headliner  project in FILM.UA Distribution’s catalogue, which is presented at Marché du Film de Cannes 2022 held during the festival on May 17-25. The official poster of the project has been updated especially on this occasion, and now the elements of Mavka’s Magical Forest have the colors of the Ukrainian flag — yellow and blue.

MAVKA is presented at quite a few not-to-miss events during the Cannes Film Market. On May 22 starting 09:30 a.m. MAVKA will be one of the 5 international projects (among those from Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, France and Switzerland) selected to be pitched in a work-in-progress session of the Animation Day (“Annecy Goes To Cannes 2022” event). The film is presented by its producers, Anna Eliseeva and Egor Olesov, followed by the Q&A session (admission open to all Film Market accreditation holders).

Also on March 23 at 02:15 p.m. a screening of all the finished scenes of MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG will be held at Marché du film de Cannes  (admission open to all Film Market accreditation holders, for more info please contact

The entire Ukrainian film industry is represented in Cannes in a joint national pavilion under the slogan #StandWithUkraine. Besides, FILM.UA Group Distribution has also opened its own stand at Palais des Festivals (booth number J11)


MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG animated feature film is based on the masterpiece classic fairytale drama by Lesia Ukrainka, an outstanding Ukrainian writer, as well as on Ukrainian myths and legends.

“Mavka is a strong female character from Ukrainian legends. She strives for peace in her world like millions of Ukrainians and people across the globe do. Together with other female characters of  Animagrad’s  animated features THE STOLEN PRINCESS (2018) and ROXELANA (in development), Mavka embodies the strength of the spirit of a Ukrainian character,” said Oleg Malamuzh, the director.

The  story told in Mavka will definitely relate to audiences around the world. “Mavka gives hope and reminds us that good will always win over evil and love will defeat hate,” adds Anna Eliseeva, the film’s producer.

Rights for MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG were already acquired by more than 20 countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Today, the team is actively negotiating the sale of rights to other territories, focusing on North American and Chinese markets, including global streamers,  to make Mavka known around the world.