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European Film Market & Co-Production Market

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Jan 23, 2017

“Books at Berlinale”: Twelve New International Novels Ripe for Screen Adaptation

On February 14, film producers attending “Books at Berlinale” will have the chance to discover twelve new literary works that lend themselves perfectly for adaptation to the screen. The selected novels will be presented at a pitching session in the framework of the Berlinale Co-Production Market. At a get-together following the session, the invited producers will be able to join in conversation with respected, internationally active literary agents and representatives of publishing houses who hold the film rights to the works in question. There they can establish and cultivate contacts in the international book world or perhaps even begin to negotiate right away to option the film rights to one or more of the selected books.

The twelve literary works that make up the selection at this year’s edition of “Books at Berlinale” come from publishers and agencies from Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. More than 130 works from over 30 countries were submitted for consideration in the programme.

In addition to the brand-new novels of best-selling authors Martin Suter (Switzerland) and Herman Koch of the Netherlands, whose international hit “Het Dinner” (“The Dinner”) is represented this year in the Berlinale Competition in a screen adaptation starring Richard Gere, and a new work from multiple prize-winning Kurdish author Bachtyar Ali, the selection presents a broad spectrum of themes and genres with a high potential for adaptation to the screen.

The selected novels deal with urgent contemporary questions such as the potential consequences of genetic manipulation, with dystopian scenarios arising after the extinction of bees, but also with child heroes who grow into crusaders against evil along with a group of mascots in one particularly comedic instance. Beyond that, they relate epic historical sagas based on real persons and events: German POWs in American camps at the end of the Second World War; the opalescent life story of banker Hugo Simon, companion of Thomas Mann and many other artists, who was forced to flee from Berlin with his family into exile in Brazil; and the daughter of James Joyce, who, engaged to Samuel Beckett, moved through Paris of the 1920s as a dancer in search of her destiny.

“Books at Berlinale” has been organised annually by the Berlinale in co-operation with the Frankfurt Book Fair since 2006. “With ‘Books at Berlinale’, we have been able, together with the Frankfurt Book Fair, to create an event with a large network, which promotes co-operation in the area of literary adaptations, which themselves represent an important part of the film production world,” according to Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.
Film producers who are active in the area of literary adaptations (or would like to be) as well as publishers and literary agents can register to participate in the event until February 8 at .
“Books at Berlinale” takes place in the Berlin House of Representatives in the framework of the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Primary partners of the Berlinale Co-Production Market are MDM - Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and Creative Europe - MEDIA, a programme of the European Union. The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a part of the European Film Market (EFM).

The following works have been selected for “Books at Berlinale” 2017:
(in alphabetical order by company presenting the film)

„Elefant“ / “Elephant” (Martin Suter), Diogenes Verlag, Switzerland
“Never Be Sad Again” (Baptiste Beaulieu), Éditions Fayard, France
“The Boy” (Marcus Malte), Éditions Zulma, France
“Ein mögliches Leben“ / “One Possible Life“ (Hannes Köhler), Elisabeth Ruge Agentur, Germany
“The Mascoteers: Enter the Zebra” (Rollo de Walden), Kaiken Publishing, Finland
“The Last Pomegranate” (Bachtyar Ali), Literarische Agentur Mertin, Germany
“The History of Bees” (Maja Lunde), Norse Code Agency, Norway
“Berlin - Fires of Tegel” (Fabio Geda & Marco Magnone), Oetinger Filmrechte-Agentur, Germany
“The Ditch” (Herman Koch), Shared Stories, The Netherlands
“We Own the Sky” (Luke Allnutt), The Artists Partnership, United Kingdom
“The Remnant” (Rafael Cardoso), Villas-Boas & Moss Literary Agency, Brazil
“The Joyce Girl” (Annabel Abbs), Zeitgeist Literary Agency, Belgium

Press Office
January 23, 2017