Francisk Skaryna – “European Superstar”

Client:

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Task:

To develop an animated video dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Francisk Skaryna.

To mark the 500th anniversary of printing in Eastern Europe, we have created an entire animated story for the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, which is dedicated to the founder of printing – Francisk Skaryna.

The East Slavic book printer, writer, humanist philosopher, and one of the greatest historical figures of his time – Francisk Skaryna, and his works became widely known around the world. The story tells about the very way how “captain” Skaryna overcomes the difficulties that life presents to him, finds his vocation, and conquers the metaphorical ocean of “words”, becoming the first printer, thereby creating a large number of works known today.

The atmosphere and color design of the entire video evokes the spirit of the Renaissance and also reflect the beauty of Slavic culture and Belarusian swamps.

The created clip “European Superstar” and its world are rich in detail, and each location presented in the video has its meaning.

It presents a complex world, reflecting the life path of Francysk Skaryna, the history of printing, and Belarusian motives.

For instance, a ship symbolizes a printing press and a book press, and the ocean represents text pages. So, the video tells how Francisk goes through his life path from a philosopher and a physician, eventually becoming the first printer, translating the Bible for the Slavic people for the first time. He conquers the ocean of “words” and becomes a real “European Superstar”.

When a kind of “Colosseum” appears in front of us in the video with the names of the cities where the main character’s ship sails, it symbolizes a large number of geographical locations that Francisk visited: Polotsk, where his school was; Krakow, where he graduated from university and received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts; Padua, where Francisk graduated as a doctor; the final point is Vilnius, where Francisk decides to translate the Bible and make it available to everyone in the Old Belarusian language.

The messages and references to historical events do not end there. The moment of the video where Skaryna’s ship sails through the reefs, lightning strikes the ship, and the Russian coat of arms appears – this is a symbol of the historical event when Francisk was expelled from the Moscow Principality as a Catholic, and his books were burned.

Throughout the “European Superstar” video, Captain Skaryna keeps writing something down in his “logbook” – at the end of the video in the final scene, when it is handed over to a person, the book symbolizes the very “Small Travel Book” that was first published in the Vilnius printing house and became available to the people.

Timing:

Done in 30 days

Credits:

Creative Director – Denis Misyulya
Management – Olga Kaziaba, Veronika Khomyak
Creator – Anastasia Eliseeva
Lyrics, vocals – Jakob Wöllenstein, Lavon Volski
Storyboard, illustration, and animation – Alyona Salatova, Rita Tikhanovich, Alexandra Khutnaya
Video production – Creative agency “Moloko”
Music – Augustinas Bėkšta, Beat Making Cosmobeat