Ukraine’s most anticipated animated release Mavka. The Forest Song is arriving on big screens and streaming services across the world.
The animated film is inspired by ancient Slavic traditions and rituals, ornaments and patterns, national visual symbols in costumes, folk melodies, and also by the classic fairytale drama The Forest Song by Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka.
The film hit theatres domestically on 2 March 2023 and broke the box-office record of the first weekend (189048 admissions, which beat the first weekend of Avatar 2: The Way of Water). Animagrad studio, part of production and distribution company FILM.UA Group, known for The Stolen Princess (2018), has dropped its international trailer and revealed details on further international releases.
More than 80 countries have already acquired the distribution rights of the film and the list of territories to see it is still growing. More than 50 countries have set the release date and others will announce the dates soon.
On 26 February, Italia Film, Muvi Cinemas, and FILM.UA Group, with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, held a highly attended pre-release screening of the film, kickstarting its theatrical release on 2 March across the Middle East (Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen) and North African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Western Sahara, and other countries). On 5 March, Mavka was screened in Abu-Dhabi.
On 29 March, Universal Pictures Content Group and KMBO distribution company will release it across France. It will also hit big screens in Belgium, followed by April releases in New Zealand and Australia (6 April), the Netherlands (19 April), Italy (20 April), Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo (27 April), Andorra and Spain (28 April), Vietnam (29 April), Hungary and Portugal (4 May), Romania (12 May), Serbia and Montenegro (29 June), Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (14 July) and Turkey (25 August).
The release dates for the following countries which also acquired the rights to the animated feature will be announced soon: USA, Canada, countries of Latin America, South Korea, Mongolia, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and others.
FILM.UA distribution head Evgeniy Drachov said, “Our partners are attracted by the quality of animation, a universal story, a combination of drama and humour, and music. Mavka. The Forest Song has all the makings of a family animation success, and sales in a large number of territories show that our opinion is shared by professionals all over the world. We hope that the audience will like Mavka. The Forest Song, because the story of love and struggle for one’s world should resonate with people worldwide.”
The film first drew international attention when the initial teaser was presented at the MIFA content market in 2017, held within the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. It gained further acclaim as the only Ukrainian project to be selected to be pitched at the most significant European animation forum, Cartoon Movie 2017 in Bordeaux, for two years in a row. The project has since grown into a multi-platform IP — Mavka Universe, which brings together people from the creative, technological, and business spheres, scientific and public institutions, and government agencies.