Step into the world of Mavka, the Ukrainian animation inspired by a feminist hero

25 July 2017

Upcoming Ukrainian animated feature Mavka: The Forest Song is one to watch out for — the screen adaptation of a beloved piece of classical literature, the film has caught the attention of none other than Disney.

Visitors to the Odessa International Film Festival earlier this month got an exclusive first look at the tale of Ukrainian folkloric nymph Navka, during the premiere of the film’s official teaser.

Based on the play The Forest Song (1912) by famed poet, playwright and feminist activist Lesya Ukrainka, Mavka: The Forest Song saw Ukraine participate for the first time at Cartoon Movie, the biggest European animation forum. Here the upcoming feature won praise from big names, including the Walt Disney Company (Germany, Switzerland & Austria), Annecy International Animated Film Festival and CANAL+.

The teaser will begin running in Ukrainian cinemas late this month, while the feature itself is not slated for release until 2019.

According to a report by Cartoon Brew, the producers at Group (Animagrad) have rooted the film in Ukrainian tradition. This can already be seen in the teaser, where we hear a traditional folk vesnianka (a song to ring call the spring in) performed by folk quartet Dakhabrakha. Ukrainian motifs and symbols will feature heavily throughout the movie, including traditional embroidered vyshyvanka shirts and intricately designed painted Easter eggs called pysanky.