Mavka. The Forest Song — which became the first Ukrainian project to make it through the stringent selection process for Cartoon Movie last year — is returning to the premiere European feature animation forum. The Animagrad/FILM.UA Group production has been upgraded from “In Concept” to the “In Development” category for the 20th Cartoon Movie in Bordeaux (March 7-9).
Producers Iryna Kostyuk and Anna Eliseeva, director Aleksandra Ruban and pitching consultant Lyubov Krokhmalna (MRM) will present the film’s progress over the last year, with an emphasis on how the feature concept has evolved into a developing story universe of a multi-platform brand. In 2017, the script was finalized, the main characters and concept art were creative, and an animatic is now being put together. These new materials will be presented at the forum during the Mavka pitch session on March 9 at 4:30 p.m. in Amphi B of the Palais.
“Our trip to Bordeaux has two main tasks. The first one is to get into finishing stages of co-production negotiations with our main potential partners from France, Belgium, Germany, India, Canada, and China. The second one is to strengthen MAVKA’s reputation as an animated IP developing consistently and actively, so we’d be happy to find new partners in conquering the world,” says Kostyuk.
The producers have been aligning the film with two impactful missions over social media: drawing attention to environment in Ukraine in partnership with the national WWF, and exporting authentic Ukrainian culture all over the world in with the help of experts on ethnography, folklore and history.
Brand extension plans include a merchandise and licensed products line, and an animated series. First steps have been taken with a capsule fashion collection from Olga Navrotskaya — a famous local designer who is crafting costumes for the film. Mavka’s producers will model dresses from the collection during the pitch in Bordeaux. A publishing program is also soon to be announced, including a new edition of the classical play by Lesya Ukrainka the movie is based on, an adaptation of the play for schoolchildren, and a sketchbook for young audiences. Plus AR apps, jewelry/accessory lines and home decor goods are planned for the next two years.