Mavka: The Forest Song

Mavka: The Forest Song

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Spotlight Films

Mavka: The Forest Song

Directed by: Oleg Malamuzh and Oleksandra Ruban

Ukraine, 2023, 90m, Southeast Premiere


Mavka, a magical spirit that protects the forest from the outside world, faces her greatest challenge when she falls for one she cannot love: Luckash, a human. As the two struggle to keep their worlds separate, the humans and forest creatures increasingly clash, leaving it up to the two of them to keep the peace. Drawn from traditional Ukrainian literature, this enchanting film celebrates the country’s folklore, culture, and music. However, its beautiful and vibrant animation and lively tunes were completed under unusual circumstances. When Animagrad Studio became a refugee shelter after Russia’s attacks, Mavka: The Forest Song was remarkably finished in bomb shelters or other remote locations, keeping Ukraine’s spirit alive with its universal story and humor despite what felt like impossible circumstances. Lush and whimsical, this film—though mostly targeted at children—is a heartfelt story of love and the sacrifices one must make for peace.