Sol & Liv
(Status: in development)
Sol & Liv is a children’s story, inspired by the Slavic and Scandinavian myths, that takes place in a small village. Sol – an eleven years old boy who is longing for adventures – is about to become a “man” by going through a ritual of cutting his hair short. Suddenly, this long-awaited moment is being postponed by his parents. Sol, who is an insubordinate child, riots and proceeds with the ritual by himself. It turns out that by this act he steps on a path of his destiny and becomes the Chosen One, on whom the fate of the Sintborg land and the rest of the Earth depends. Mysterious Liv becomes Sol’s guide in the mythical world of spells, magical nature and unique creatures. While the couple of teenagers experience adventures and face dangers, they’re helping each other in overcoming their own weaknesses. The friendship that flourishes between them allows the Chosen One to control the great power of ruling over the elements that is within him, and upon which the future of the world depends.
Sol & Liv
Director: Piotr Szczepanowicz
Authors: Małgorzata Giec, Małgorzata Więckowicz-Żyła, Piotr Szczepanowicz
Producer: Jakub Karwowski (Letko, Poland), Grzegorz Wacławek (Animoon, Poland)
Co-Producer: Animoon, Poland
Format: 13 x 10’
Target audience: Children (6-11 years)
Technique: 2D digital / Cut-out
Cartoon Forum 2017 spotlighted Polish animation, including their five selected projects. We would like to introduce Sol & Liv among the five projects presented. The sceneries of a shore, a forest, animals, and a black mysterious creature in the short pilot film, which was aired during their pitch, set our expectations of seeing a good fantasy animation series. It is a story of a boy and a girl, Sol and Liv, in a parallel universe where a magical tree connects a magical world with our real world, inspired by Slavic and Scandinavian myths. I heard the producer Jakub Karwowski from Letko about the project.
Interview with Jakub Karwowski
Hideki Nagaishi (HN): How did this project start?
Jakub Karwowski (JK): It started for a couple of reasons. One of them is due to the very long relationship between two friends, who are the two screenwriters of this project. They grew up together and had a lot of experiences. They wanted to work with and tell about those experiences. They wanted to express emotions that they acquired through their experiences in a fine and aesthetic way. That was the beginning.
Later on, we made the fundamental characters of the story, Sol and Liv, and the rebellion as the starting point of the adventure. At the same time there is the return of black force in the valley that only Sol can stop, but he can’t do it alone. He needs Liv.
We also wanted to work with myths from Scandinavia and the Slavic region. In a way, we compose a mixture of them and they will present an emotional state here. That was also the idea of the whole structure, not only just putting some characters in the magic environment, but also uses it as the tool to tell the story about emotions.
HN: Could you please let us know a little bit more about the myths?
JK: The myths are the mixture. First of all, there is the tree, which is the symbol of the balance of light and dark forces. The creatures that we have, that you can find in both Scandinavian and Slavic myths. The idea of a parallel worlds – the magic world and the daily, real life – they intersect in the special way that only some of the characters can see.
In beliefs and everyday life of Slavs nature played a major role. Today, we struggle with problems of ecological disasters and over-exploitation of natural resources by people. By fighting for the world, Sol battles for the survival of the nature that creates him. He discovers the magic side of nature that he was unaware of. Through an emotional connection with the characters the young audience will understand the characters’ motivations and will learn respect for nature.
HN: I feel the visuals fit the story well. How are you developing the visuals?
JK: We’ve made research about ornaments, clothes, and drawings on tribal arts in Scandinavia and the Slavic region. We use some elements of that. It is the source of the visual style – the ornaments and the symbols that they represent.
HN: Could you please let us know your favorite part of the story or favorite character at the moment?
JK: Favorite one is the moment when they meet for the first time, Sol and Liv, in the pilot. At the moment, they don’t yet know what will happen, even though they can feel something will. Sol discovered that there is a whale on the shore that they need to push back to the sea. Liv is already there, and he sees and approaches her. That is the first moment that they make acquaintance.
HN: What kind of support are you looking for?
JK: We’re looking for financing for production and for co-producer. We will be applying for our financing in Poland but definitely won’t be enough. So, we are looking for co-finance because we can handle the visual side.