Maiden Swifter than Horses (Animated Short)

Go Hektik Studio designed a  2D animation short that tells a universal story of ideal beauty. The film is going to be submitted to different regional and European animation festivals. This grand adventure about a pursuit of beauty is based on the old Serbian national tale. However, it is not illustrated with national characteristics as expected from this type of animated short film, but in a very poetic fairytale-style. Maiden Swifter than Horses was preserved from oblivion almost two centuries ago by Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic.

Jovana Stanimirovic, CEO of the studio, envisions it as a poetic, story oriented film, with a strong message that helps understand the story worldwide.

The 2D animation format was selected for its perfect fit to the fairytale world. Milos Stanojevic, art director of the project and team leader in studio, followed his vision that the motion should subtly emphasize the emotion, either through its gentle floating sensation, or its repetitive course of details. He was inspired by Eywind Earle and his approach to the art-making process of the Sleeping Beauty. Experimenting with traditional animation, Milos wanted to create a rich 2D appeal.

The girl is the main character of this short animated movie. She sets a number of obstacles for all men who desire to have her for a wife. Her freedom is in peril when a handsome and strong-willed king appears. The voice of a storyteller, created by Peter Baker, acts as our narrative guide.

This particular story was chosen because of its artistic value and strong visual effect. The maiden represents ultimate beauty, pure freedom and perfection humans tend to achieve. The story leaves us with numerous questions: What does it take to capture perfection? What are the obstacles along the way? Is there passion in possession?

We wanted the universal mood of the story to move people. While working on a story adaptation, Dunja Sretovic, senior project manager in Go Hektik, had chosen the poem Annabel Lee by E. A. Poe as a reference for its metrics and the specific rhythm of the tale we wanted to animate. Our main goal was to breathe new life into Slavic mythology and to make it more visible to the wider audience.

Animating this particular tale, an additional value was added by the course of everyday events. At the end of the year 2017, the headlines in the daily press were changes in the used literature for primary and secondary education. Several national tales and poems, including Maiden Swifter than Horses, were left out from the obligatory literature in the Serbian language for the primary and secondary schools. Studio’s intention was right on spot, and at the right time. “We want to highlight that institutional changes and education reforms can be creative pushes to different industries”, explains Jelena Medan, marketing manager in Go Hektik Studio.

“Maiden Swifter than Horses” is the first independent animated short coming from Go Hektik. Studio has a plan to continue working on the independent animated movies in the future and is open to collaboration with different institutions.

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