Since the start of its broad international distribution covering over 80 countries, the animated feature film MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG has enjoyed record-breaking box office success in Ukraine and worldwide. The distribution in some key countries, such as Poland, has not even started yet, and in others, it is still in progress. The Ukrainian studio Animagrad (FILM.UA Group) therefore intends to further amplify the success of the Mavka Universe: the story of the Forest Guardian is going to be continued in the format of a series. One of the leading French animation studios, TeamTo, is on board, as the Ukrainians' development partner.
The French company had been interested in Mavka ever since the animated film came out, so they jumped at the chance to get involved in developing the new project.
“TeamTO will contribute to the financing and production aspects. Animagrad and FILM.UA Group have proven their talent and reliability by creating a beautiful feature film in the midst of the chaos caused by russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Corinne Couper, SVP of Production & Development at TeamTO, said of the upcoming collaboration in an article published by Kidscreen.
Over the past year, Mavka has become well-known around the world, so the fact that her story is set to be continued as a series with the laconic working title MAVKA has not gone unnoticed by the Western audience. At two of the most important events in the animation industry – the MIFA Pitches (held at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival) and the Cartoon Forum (in Toulouse) – the idea for the new project attracted praise and was selected for pitchings.
There is some symbolism here, since another event in the Cartoon industry, Cartoon Movie, once served as a powerful launching pad for the development of MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG. And now, these latest events will start a brand new story.
On June 15, in Annecy, France, as part of Annecy’s Partners Pitch, producers Iryna Kostyuk and Anna Eliseeva had a unique opportunity to present the concept for the new project, the new animated characters, and a video – a sizzle reel for the series – to industry players from a range of countries.
“We are at a very early stage of the series’ development. There are challenges and difficulties ahead, of the kind that the Animagrad team is already used to. But there are also certain things that inspire us tremendously. They are our new characters: Mavka’s friend Tumblewind and the new forest villain, Chuhai. Both of them are from Ukrainian mythology, but in our series, they are going to have adventures in the format of a comedy series for children,” Anna Eliseeva, the producer, reveals.
And in September, the MAVKA series will be presented at the prestigious Cartoon Forum pitching event, which will take place, as usual, in Toulouse.
Ukraine’s presence in Annecy was made possible by the support of the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine, the Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival LINOLEUM, and the Ukrainian Animation Association. The project partner is Media Resources Management (MRM).