Book seeks film producer: Books at Berlinale presents books ripe for the screen

Record number of submissions, 150 from 30 countries

Frankfurt, 25 January 2018 - A woman who works at a missing persons helpline is contacted by her own daughter who disappeared four years ago. A war reporter is blackmailed in the Syria conflict. A writer dies under mysterious circumstances. This year’s edition of “Books at Berlinale” promises to be exciting.

Starting in 2006, “Books at Berlinale” is an annual event organised by the Berlin International Film Festival (15-25 February 2018) in cooperation with the Frankfurter Buchmesse (10-14 October 2018) as part of the Berlinale Co-Production Market. The event provides an opportunity for rights holders to present their books in moderated pitching sessions, after which participants have the opportunity to talk to each other and make valuable contacts.

This year’s “Books at Berlinale” selection of books with high screen-adaptation potential will be presented on Monday, 19 February 2018, from 3.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. in the “Festsaal” room of the Abgeordnetenhaus (state parliament) in Berlin.

The jury has selected 12 books to compete for the attention of the film producers invited this year. The titles come from publishers and agents in Germany, France, Georgia, Greece, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Spain and Turkey. They include the thriller Where the Missing Go by Emma Rowley (Orion Publishing Group), Fake Metal Jacket by Sven Recker (Agentur Kroll) and #egoland by Michael Nast (Edel Books).

“Good books are an important source of inspiration for film producers”, says Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. “This year we had an embarrassment of riches to choose from: 150 submissions from 30 countries – a new record. I’m especially pleased that the pitch for the book The Other Amsterdam by Dato Turashvili will give us a foretaste of Georgia, this year’s Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. Our selection also aims to cover a wide range of genres, topics, historical periods and countries of origin, in order to represent different perspectives from the international literary scene.”

Thematically, the books offer something for many tastes. In the Midst of Winter by bestselling author Isabel Allende (Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells) centres on the biggest snowstorm in the history of Brooklyn and how that leads to an unexpected friendship between a university professor, his neighbour and a young immigrant from Guatemala. Based on historical facts, the novel Bakhita by French author Véronique Olmi (Éditions Albin Michel) tells the story of the slave and saint Josephine Bakhita. In The Girl in the Tree by Şebnem İşigüzel (Kalem Agency), the developments in Turkey are told from the point of view of a girl who lives in a tree in Gülhane Park, while Rosella Postorino’s Le assaggiatrici (Hitler’s Feast) (Vicki Satlow Literary Agency) is about a woman who serves as a food taster for Hitler.

The Director of the Berlin International Film Festival, Dieter Kosslick, explains: “The most important criteria for us in choosing the titles are still the quality and originality of the material. Beyond that, the selected books are particularly well suited for adaptation to the big or small screen. In making our selection, we keep in mind that the large group of producers present have different interests, expectations and capacities, which we try to meet.”

Books at Berlinale 2018 – the selected titles
(in alphabetical order by presenting company)

In the Midst of Winter (Isabel Allende), Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells, Spain
Fake Metal Jacket (Sven Recker), Agentur Kroll, Germany
The Other Amsterdam (Dato Turashvili), Bakur Sulakauri Publishing, Georgia
The Million Kroner Kindness Competition (Arnfinn Kolerud), Cappelen Damm Agency, Norway
#egoland (Michael Nast), Edel Books, Germany
Bakhita (Véronique Olmi), Éditions Albin Michel, France
Magda (Mazarine Pingeot), Éditions Julliard, France
The Girl in the Tree (Şebnem İşigüzel), Kalem Agency, Turkey
Where The Missing Go (Emma Rowley), Orion Publishing Group, Great Britain
Martha’s Dance (Tom Saller), Ullstein Buchverlage, Germany
Hitler’s Feast (Rosella Postorino), Vicki Satlow Literary Agency, Italy
Captain Horror’s Island (Rodoula Pappa), Volatilium, Greece

Interested film producers, journalists, publishers and literary agents may register to participate in “Books at Berlinale” by sending a message to books@berlinale.de until 9 February 2018.

About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries, around 286,000 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 Frankfurter Buchmesse has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse 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 Frankfurter Buchmesse offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. www.book-fair.com

Contact for the media
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, +49 (0) 69 2102-138, press@book-fair.com
Kathrin Grün, Director Communications, +49 (0) 69 2102-170, gruen@book-fair
Julia Biermann, Trainee Marketing & Communications, +49 (0) 69 2102-165, biermann@book-fair.com