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Baobab’s ‘Baba Yaga’ to Premiere at Venice VR Expanded

Leading interactive studio’s newest work blends theater, cinema, and animation for an immersive experience that allows viewers to be the main character. 

Leading interactive animation studio, Baobab Studios, has announced that their newest project, Baba Yaga, will have its world premiere at Venice VR Expanded, the virtual reality section of the 77th Venice International Film Festival, running September 2-12.

Directed by Baobab Studios co-founder Eric Darnell and co-directed by Mathias Chelebourg, Baba Yaga is a contemporary portrayal of the Eastern European legend inspired by illustrative 2D pop-up animation, hand-drawn, and stop-motion styles, creating a modern visual language for VR inspired by classic animation. Leveraging the studio’s award-winning animation pioneers and interactive gaming veterans, the new project blends theater, cinema, and animation into a unique experience that explores themes of empowerment and environmentalism.

Daisy Ridley, who rose to worldwide fame as Rey Skywalker in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, was just recently cast in the lead role of Magda. “Baobab is at the very forefront of VR and interactive animation, so it’s been exciting to work with Eric and the team to bring such a beautiful story to life,” said Ridley. “I love playing Magda, because she is brave, vulnerable and fiercely protective of her family all at the same time. The idea that the viewer will be able to genuinely interact with my character in this magical world and help steer the course of the narrative is so amazing.”

In Baba Yaga, viewers are invited as a main character into a haunting reimagined fairytale with their choices determining the ending of this story of love, fortitude, and magic. Sometimes a force for evil, sometimes a force for good, the enigmatic witch Baba Yaga uses her powers to stop the villagers whose settlement encroaches upon her enchanted forest. When the viewer’s mother, the village chief, falls deathly ill, it is up to them and their sister Magda to do the unthinkable—enter the forest, uncover its hidden mysteries, and get the cure from Baba Yaga. Ultimately, every decision the viewer makes matters…even whether humanity and nature can live in balance.

Baba Yaga will be released in multiple formats later this year. For additional information, visit the Baobab Studios website.

Source: Baobab Studios

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