Ukrainian Stu­dios Bring Cre­ative Spirit to An­necy

Animation Magazine - - STUDIO CLOSEUP -

For the third year in a row, the pop­u­lar Ukrainian an­i­ma­tion booth at An­necy will be over­flow­ing with cre­ative projects from a record num­ber of the coun­try’s tal­ented artists and stu­dios. This year’s del­e­ga­tion is sup­ported by the Ukrainian State Film Agency, the Em­bassy of Ukraine in France and the Ukrainian In­sti­tute. In­dus­try ob­servers are not­ing that the re­gion’s an­i­mated projects have been at­tract­ing both do­mes­tic and for­eign in­vestors, and are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity and crit­i­cal re­sponse from movie­go­ers and small-screen view­ers around the world.

One of this year’s high­lights is the highly ac­claimed an­i­mated fea­ture Deep Love, di­rected by Mykyta Lyskov, which is selected to com­pete at the An­necy Fes­ti­val. Con­sist­ing of sev­eral un­re­lated episodes, the word­less fea­ture fo­cuses on re­la­tion­ships be­tween peo­ple. “To par­tic­i­pate in such a fes­ti­val, and to even com­pete in the pro­gram is some­thing that I couldn’t even dare to dream about,” says Lyskov.

The Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency Py­lyp Il­lienko adds, “For the first time in the his­tory of Ukrainian cin­ema, our film is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the main com­pe­ti­tion of an an­i­ma­tion fes­ti­val of such mag­ni­tude. In my opin­ion, the work of the Ukrainian Stand MIFA mar­ket has made a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact. The film Deep Love is cre­ated in a very un­usual and in­no­va­tive style, and I am glad that our ex­perts have re­al­ized this project’s promis­ing out­look by pro­vid­ing it with sup­port.”

Direc­tor of Cher­vony Sobaka stu­dio Olena Gol­ubeva says, “After par­tic­i­pat­ing in An­necy fes­ti­val for two years in a row, Ukraine has be­gun to be re­garded as a se­ri­ous in­ter­na­tional part­ner and has been at­tract­ing var­i­ous ini­tia­tives world­wide. With­out ex­ag­ger­a­tion, we can say that the As­so­ci­a­tion ac­tively pro­motes the cre­ative po­ten­tial of Ukrainian stu­dios and sup­ports their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pre­sen­ta­tion on many in­ter­na­tional venues. One of the big signs of our chang­ing im­age is artist Ilya Chichkan’s de­sign, which is based on the works of Mariya Pri­machenko. You can see char­ac­ters come to life in dif­fer­ent an­i­ma­tion styles in the best tra­di­tions of the Ukrainian an­i­ma­tion school.”

Also par­tic­i­pat­ing at the mar­ket is Stu­dio KAPI, which of­fers new cre­ative ideas and com­bines safe con­tent for chil­dren with imag­i­na­tive de­sign and high pro­duc­tion val­ues at low costs. Its up­com­ing an­i­mated fea­ture 23

In­sults, which is based on Natalia Guzeeva’s book, was show­cased at the An­i­ma­tion Pro­duc­tion days in Stuttgart in May.

Stu­dio KAPI is also bring­ing Labra Cadabra, a new sci-fi an­i­mated TV com­edy fea­tur­ing pup­pets, de­vel­oped by Olga Ti­tova. The show’s main char­ac­ter Myshkin the Mouse, which ap­peared at the Mon­strinha An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val in Lis­bon, will also be on hand to take pho­tos with vis­i­tors at the Ukrainian stand through­out MIFA in An­necy.

As the stu­dio’s pro­ducer Michael Mar­gulis points out, ”For in­ter­na­tional mar­ket suc­cess, there is a need for con­stant con­tact with po­ten­tial in­ter­na­tional part­ners and dis­trib­u­tors. Par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­ter­na­tional film mar­kets and fes­ti­vals is a way to check how your film com­mu­nity con­trib­utes to your work.”

Suc­cess­ful an­i­ma­tion player An­ima­grad Stu­dio is con­tin­u­ing to make its pres­ence known at the fes­ti­val and mar­ket. As the stu­dio’s exec direc­tor Olek­sii Tol­ubko points out, the stu­dio con­tin­ues to find new au­di­ences for its in­ter­na­tional fea­ture hit Stolen Princess. “We’re fol­low­ing the suc­cess of that movie with sev­eral new projects. We’re work­ing on movies such as Mavka: The For­est Song (which is in pro­duc­tion right now) and Rok­solana, and we con­tinue to ex­pand our TV projects with se­ries such as Hrafn’s Academy and The Whiz­zKids Club.”

An­other big par­tic­i­pant this year is Kvar­tal 95 an­i­ma­tion stu­dio, which will present its up­com­ing an­i­mated fea­ture Gul­liver Re­turns, which is slated for a 2020 re­lease date. The am­bi­tious project is helmed by Ilya Mak­si­mov (Sme­shariki) and an­i­ma­tor Tony Bonilla, a vet­eran of Dis­ney fea­tures such as Moana, Zootopia and Ralph Breaks the In­ter­net. Writer/pro­ducer Michael Ryan (All Hail King Julien, Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Des­tiny) is also in­volved with the project.

As Volodymyr Sheiko, gen­eral direc­tor of the Ukrainian In­sti­tute notes, “The sup­port by the Ukrainian In­sti­tute of our an­i­ma­tion del­e­ga­tion is a strate­gic in­vest­ment for us in the de­vel­op­ment of Ukrainian an­i­ma­tion. An­necy is the world’s largest an­i­ma­tion in­dus­try plat­form; the films that are show­cased and re­ceived at­ten­tion here have a chance for in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion. This pro­vides us with a great op­por­tu­nity to ad­e­quately present Ukrainian an­i­ma­tion to in­ter­na­tional ex­perts.” ◆

Deep Love

Pro­ducer of the KAPI stu­dio Michael Mar­gulis Ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor UANIMA, direc­tor of the Cher­vony Sobaka stu­dio Olena Gol­ubeva and Jean M Thoren, Pres­i­dent An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine

Press sec­re­tary of Ukrainian State Film Agency Mariia Didyk with guests of the stand

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