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More than 130 submissions from over 30 countries

Frankfurt, 23 January 2017 – Twelve promising international novels will be pitched this year at the 12th edition of “Books at Berlinale” on Tuesday, 14 February 2017. The 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.

This event has been held every year since 2006, organized by the Berlin International Film Festival (9-19 February 2017) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair (11-15 October 2017). “Books at Berlinale is now a must-attend event for producers”, says Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair. “Not least because many success stories begin here. Last year, the literary agent Elisabeth Ruge presented Philipp Winkler’s debut novel Hool at Books at Berlinale – the film rights have since been optioned. And this year, from a record number of 130 submissions, the jury has selected those books that stand out for their high screen-adaptation potential. I’m certain that we’ll see the results on the big screen in a few years time.”

A glance at the programme of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival shows that many successful films are based on literary works. The film festival’s Special Gala at the Zoo Palast will present the premiere of the film adaptation of Eugen Ruge’s prize-winning novel In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts (In Times of Fading Light). Moreover, this year two adaptations of literary works are in competition for the Golden Bear: the American production The Dinner (directed by Oren Moverman; book written by Herman Koch) and the Polish film Pokot (directed by Agnieszka Holland; book written by Olga Tokarczuk). T2 Trainspotting, the sequel to Danny Boyle’s British cult film (book written by Irvine Welsh) will be screened separately, and not part of the competition.

Books at Berlinale 2017 – die Titelauswahl
(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, Finnland
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, UK
The Remnant (Rafael Cardoso), Villas-Boas & Moss Literary Agency, Brasil
The Joyce Girl (Annabel Abbs), Zeitgeist Literary Agency, Belgium

“Books at Berlinale” will take place on Tuesday, 14 February 2016, from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Abgeordnetenhaus (state parliament) in Berlin. Film producers who are – or would like to be – active in the field of literary adaptations, as well as journalists, publishers and literary agents, may register to participate in the event until 10 February. Please send an e-mail to

About the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,150 exhibitors from 106 countries, around 278,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers - in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurt Book Fair organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurt Book Fair offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.

Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurt Book Fair
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-138,
Kathrin Grün, PR manager, Tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-170,
> Press information online >
> Photos in print quality >

Berlinale Co-Production Market