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Two of the ten books that were presented to an audience of film producers at the first ever digital "Books at Berlinale" this year came from Canada, the Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2021. Nina Bunjevac's graphic novel "Fatherland" depicts her family's history between Canada and Yugoslavia, her father's biography and her own search for him. We talked to her about the prospect of her book being adapted as a movie. 

Nina Bunjevac

How do you feel about your story being pitched for a film adaptation?

I am actually quite excited about it. This is something new to me, and I am quite a fan of new and unexpected things.

Have movies ever had an influence on the development of your own way of storytelling and writing?

Certainly yes! Movies have had more influence on my storytelling than literature and comics. I have greatly been influenced by the British Free Cinema, Yugoslavian Black Wave, and filmmakers like Fassbinder and Tarkovsky, both of whom I consider to be master storytellers.

Have you got any experience with adapting your work into motion picture?  What do you imagine your book to look like as a movie?

I have never had such experience before, but I imagine the film to be emotionally raw and brutally realistic, with documentary components, or newsreels, such were used by Dusan Makavejev. I also see it as a coproduction between the countries where the story takes place: Canada, Serbia, Croatia, France and USA.

If your book ends up being turned into a movie, would you be interested in being part of that process?

I would definitely be interested in being a part of the process. Since the book came out in 2014, so much additional and previously unknown information about my family that has come my knowledge. Also, I feel like I have grown as an author since then, and would love an opportunity to sink my teeth into this particular story again. 

Thank you for the interview!

Interview conducted by Pia Springsklee, Trainee PR & Communications at Frankfurter Buchmesse.