The 71st Cannes Film Festival and the traditional Marche du Film, which is one of the world’s largest film markets for full-length content, are starting on May 8. This year, FILM.UA Group’s headliner at the market is MAVKA.THE FOREST SONG project, because it is in Cannes on May 8 that the international pre-sales of this full-length animated film, which is already in pre-production, are set to open.
“We became aware of the incredible interest to the project even before the beginning of sales. Primarily, it is because of a very strong creative concept and great effort by the producing team at the development stage. The project has greatly benefitted from a series of pitching events, thanks to which people know about MAVKA, love it and expect it already. We are very encouraged by the coming sales opening and we believe that our animated film is going to be a great global success. First of all, we will focus on Asian markets, but of course we keep other viewers in mind as well,” – FILM.UA Group Head of Distribution Igor Storchak says.
The global market has been keenly expecting this occasion, because we were asked about the beginning of sales at every international event we visited in 2017-2018.
Currently, the work on the screenplay is finished and the project has shifted from the stage of development to the subsequent stage of pre-production. The Animagrad team starts active work on the project’s animatic, designs the visualization of 3D characters and main locations of the film and performs animation tests.
“We have written and re-written the script for over two years, polishing it with the best European and American script doctors and in collaboration with the best experts in Ukrainian mythology and literature. At the same time, one of our strongest points is our original and mesmerizing art. In the past, MAVKA.THE FOREST SONG has been selected for Europe’s largest pitching events, and our project’s art has garnered the admiration of the industry’s professionals. We shall dedicate all of 2018 to drawing animatics,” – notes Anna Eliseeva, the project’s Creative Producer.
In addition, the production team has already started negotiations on characters’ voice-over by global celebrities. The project team will present video and other in-progress content to the participants of the Marche du Film and potential partners – including concept art, 3D characters, turnarounds, and most importantly, the first shots of the finished animation that the viewers will able to enjoy in the cinema in 2020.
It’s worth saying again that MAVKA.THE FOREST SONG is the second full-length animated film by the Ukrainian Animagrad studio. The first was The Stolen Princess, which released on March 7 starting a number of world premieres of the project and becoming a record holder among Ukrainian-produced films. Currently, national box office sales of the film are at $1,380,368, with $1,381,115 more in international distribution. International releases of the project in European, Latin American regions and in China are planned till the end of the year.
“After the huge success of the Stolen Princess in Ukraine and abroad, we face an even more challenging task – not just to set the bar high for the quality of the final product and the animation level, but also to learn from our mistakes, to improve ourselves and grow. Our first animated film has established Ukraine as a producer of good animation content, and MAVKA has to show that we are a strong, stable and competitive producer of category A content,” – the producer of MAVKA and The Stolen Princess, Egor Olesov says.
“A year ago, we started active development of the project, and realized that MAVKA is a comprehensive, multi-platform brand which is so strong, deep and versatile that the film is only one of its facets in the modern world. So MAVKA, at the stage of writing the script, turned from the cartoon concept into an entire universe. We develop VR and AR applications, books, a 3D-show, clothing and authentic merchandise. We are already working with the experts from leading ethnographic institutions (the Department of Folklore Studies of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ivan Honchar Museum and the Ukrainian Fashion History Museum), as well as the best Ukrainian book publishers, jewelers and designers. Last year, we also obtained the support of WWF International. In addition to this, side-by-side with the production of the feature-length film, we are starting to create MAVKA. FOREST SONG series,” – the producer of the project Iryna Kostyuk says.
FILM.UA Group presents MAVKA at the Marche du Film at a dedicated stand J13 in Riviera (the stand will be branded with a huge 3×2 m AR-poster of the project). Thanks to augmented reality technology, the magic runes will come to life on the devices of all the market participants’ devices.
It is worth noting again that MAVKA has visited the most important industry events of the animation world at the concept and development stages: Cartoon Movie 2017 Pitching was the starting point for the active movement of the project in the media market (at that time it was presented in the In Concept category), then MAVKA was selected for participation in the Animation Production Day, a business forum in Stuttgart, in Cartoon 360 pitching in Barcelona, in the Brussels Be Film Festival co-production forum, in the largest International Seminar of the Silk Road Countries on TV and Film Content Production and Distribution in Beijing. MAVKA completed the year 2017 at the World Animation and VFX Summit in Los Angeles, where Animagrad Animation Studio was recognized as a 'New Strong Player in the Global Market'. Then, in 2018, the project was selected for the second time in a row by the jury of the 20th Anniversary Cartoon Movie Forum, this time in the In Development category.
During this period, all of the world's distributors have also had a chance to find out about MAVKA. The project was presented at the European Film Market in the framework of the Berlin Film Festival, at the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market (FILMART) and MIP markets in Cannes, at the largest American Film Market in Los Angeles. The first official teaser of the project premiered at the MIFA content market during the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the most prestigious animation festival in the world.
Note: MAVKA.THE FOREST SONG is the second full-feature animated film by Ukrainian Animagrad studio (FILM.UA Group), which is currently in pre-production. This animated film is based on Lesia Ukrainka’s play The Forest Song, as well as Ukrainian myths and traditional lore.
WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is a partner of the MAVKA.THE FOREST SONG project. The partnership includes consulting by WWF’s Ukrainian experts of the project’s creative team regarding the flora and fauna of the Polissya region, as well as implementation of a series of projects aimed to protect old-aged oak-woods of Polissya and raising awareness of the environmental issues of Ukraine among Ukrainian and global public.
The experts of the leading national ethnographic institutions, including the Department of Folklore Studies of the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Ivan Honchar Museum, and the Ukrainian Fashion History Museum are working with the production team on interpretation of Ukrainian myths, legends, beliefs, and visual culture in MAVKA’s unique animation world.
The world-famous musicians from “DakhaBrakha” are joining the project to create the original soundtrack.
MAVKA.THE FOREST SONG has won the 9th competition held by the State Film Agency of Ukraine in September 2016 and has received state financing in the amount of 30% of the total budget.
The planned release date for MAVKA.THE FOREST SONG animated film is 2020.