16 Jan - 2024

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On Sunday, 18 February, at 2.30 pm, the Berlinale Co-Production Market will present ten current books selected due to their great potential for screen adaptation in Books at Berlinale.

In cooperation with the Frankfurter Buchmesse, since 2006 new international releases and bestsellers have been presented at this annual pitch event bringing film producers together with well-known publishers and literary agents.

The presentation will be chaired by Syd Atlas and take place in the Berlin House of Representatives in front of 150 guests from the film and literary industries.

A total of 30 submissions came from Italy, this year’s Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse and the European Film Market’s Country in Focus. Cesare’s Story (orig. “La storia di Cesare. Scegliere a occhi chiusi la felicità”) was selected from those – a moving memoir by Valentina Mastroianni.

Close to 100 submissions came from publishers and agents in over 30 countries this year. The ten selected books were submitted by six publishers and four literary agents. The authors – 90 per cent of whom are women this time – come from Iceland, India, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Pakistan, France, Germany and Switzerland.

This year’s selection again reflects trends on the book market. For example, Cesare’s Story and Dissident Club – a graphic novel by Pakistani author Taha Siddiqui – are two autobiographical works shedding a personal light on current social and political issues such as living with a disability, flight from home, and the freedom of the press.

Among the authors are several debut writers who deal with feminism, migration and racism, or the modern working world in family and social dramas: Yandé Seck in White Clouds, Julya Rabinowich in Me: In-Between Fien Veldman in Xerox / Hard Copy, Simone Meier in Everything for Jo. But there are also thrillers such as the Áróra Investigation Series by Lilja Sigurðardóttir or the historical novel A Poisoner’s Tale by Cathryn Kemp, which have great potential for adaptation. With History’s Angel by Anjum Hasan, a story by an Indian author is being presented for the first time. Claudia Scharf penned the exciting fantasy series for a younger audience, The Secret of Nox, also a promising original for screen adaptation.

The following films have been selected for Books at Berlinale 2024 (English title / original title; in alphabetical order of the presenting companies):

  • The Secret of Nox: Light, Shadow – Bat Rats! (vol. 1)” / „Das Geheimnis von Nox: Licht, Schatten – Flederratten! (Vol. 1) (author: Claudia Scharf, Germany), Carlsen Verlag, Germany
  • Me: In-Between / Dazwischen: Ich (author: Julya Rabinowich, Germany), Carl Hanser Verlag, Germany
  • White Clouds / Weiße Wolken (author: Yandé Seck, Germany), Copywrite Literatur- und Filmagentur, Germany
  • Cesare’s Story. Choosing Happiness with Your Eyes Closed / La storia di Cesare. Scegliere a occhi chiusi la felicità (author: Valentina Mastroianni, Italy), DeAgostini Libri, Italy
  • Dissident Club (author: Taha Siddiqui, illustrator: Hubert Maury, Pakistan/France), Editions Glénat, France
  • History’s Angel (author: Anjum Hasan, India), Jacaranda Literary Agency, Singapore
  • Everything for Jo / Die Entflammten (author: Simone Meier, Switzerland), Kein & Aber, Switzerland
  • A Poisoner’s Tale (author: Cathryn Kemp, United Kingdom), Penguin Random House UK, United Kingdom
  • The Áróra Investigation Series: Cold as Hell / Helköld sól (author: Lilja Sigurðardóttir, Iceland), Reyjkavík Literary Agency, Iceland
  • Xerox / Hard Copy / Xerox (author: Fien Veldman, the Netherlands), Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency, the Netherlands

Interested film producers and film rights holders can register for participation until 9 February at books@berlinale.de.

On 18 February, Books at Berlinale will host a pitch event followed by networking, as well as a second matchmaking event, where selected film rights holders can meet with participating film producers in one-on-one meetings.

 The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a Berlinale Pro* initiative of Berlin International Film Festival and is supported by MDM – Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union. Cooperation partner and main venue is the Berlin House of Representatives.

Please make a note: On Friday (18 October 2024), the Book-to-Screen Day, which puts the spotlight on the topic of film and series adaptations, will once again take place at Frankfurter Buchmesse (16 to 20 October 2024). Numerous events will give filmmakers access to the international book industry and promote exchange between the various players.

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