On February 16, international producers will again have the opportunity to discover new literary material for screen adaptations at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Ten selected books will be presented in pitching sessions at “Breakfast & Books”, the market for literary adaptations. Afterwards, during breakfast, producers will be able to talk directly with the international publishers and literary agents representing the selected material.
The selected books include bestsellers, award-winners and new releases, which means that producers have an exclusive opportunity to secure film rights. Exemplary for the material to be presented at this year’s “Breakfast & Books” is a work that has yet to be published but is sure to be a bestseller and that has, moreover, great potential for the screen: Martin Suter’s new novel “Der Koch” (“The Cook”).
This year’s selection includes a wide variety of subjects and genres, which means there is something for every producer:
There is a Tamil cook in Switzerland and a young mortician out in the provinces of northern Germany. There’s a Dutch anti-hero who gets entangled in a conspiracy, a woman who suspects her husband, a man who can’t trust his memories, and another person who finds his great love. Dark drama, political thriller and zany comedy – there’s a bit of everything here.
The event, which is being held for the fifth time, is part of the “Books at Berlinale” cooperation organised with the Frankfurt Book Fair. “There have always been adaptations of literature for the screen,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick. “Producers are constantly on the lookout for great new material – and publishers and agents would love to see their books filmed. Yet in the past, these people rarely had an opportunity to meet. With these events at the Berlinale and the Frankfurt Book Fair, we have forged a bridge that enables representatives of these trades to visit each other on their respective ‘home territories’.”
Katharina Hacker’s “Die Habenichtse” (“The Have-Nots”), which was presented by Suhrkamp publishing house in 2006, shows just how viable this bridge has become. This book attracted the attention of Oda Schaefer and Franziska An der Gassen from the German production company K5 Film, who then proceeded to secure the film rights. Meanwhile the project is in the financing stage and so well on its way to becoming a finished production: selected as an official project, K5 Film now hopes to find international co-production partners at the Berlinale Co-Production Market.
Among the works presented at previous “Breakfast & Books”, several are now on their way to the screen, including Bernhard Schlink’s “Das Wochenende” (“The Weekend”) and Zoran Drvenkar’s “Sorry”.
Within the scope of the “Books at Berlinale” cooperation, the Frankfurt Book Fair will again be setting up an umbrella stand at the European Film Market where some 20 international publishers and literary agents will present themselves.
The event “Breakfast & Books” is being held within the scope of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, whose main partners are MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and the MEDIA Programme of the European Union. The Berlinale Co-Production Market is part of the European Film Market (EFM).
The following “Books at Berlinale” projects have been selected for 2010 (listed in alphabetical order by the company presenting them):
- Het gelijk van Heisenberg (Heisenberg Was Right) by Frans Pollux, Atlas Publishers, Netherlands
- Il bambino che sognava la fine del mondo (The Child That Dreamed the End of the World) by Antonio Scurati, Bompiani/ RCS Libri, Italy
- Besser als nix (As Good as It Gets) by Nina Pourlak, Claudia Böhme Rights & Literary Agency, Germany
- Der Koch (The Cook) by Martin Suter, Diogenes Verlag, Switzerland
- Mihriban pfeift auf Gott (Mihriban Is Mad at God) by Hilal Sezgin, Graf & Graf Literatur- und Medienagentur, Germany
- Tuya (All Yours) by Claudia Piñeiro, Literarische Agentur Mertin, Germany
- We Are All Zimbabweans Now by James Kilgore, The Marsh Agency, Great Britain
- Kornblum (Terrised) by Sten Reen, Matthes & Seitz Berlin, Germany
- La contessa di ricotta (Countess Butterfingers) by Milena Agus, Nottetempo, Italy
- Die Leinwand (The Canvas) by Benjamin Stein, Verlag C.H. Beck, Germany
January 27, 2010