Germany: ‘Books at Berlinale’ Sets New Record for Book-to-Film Submissions–30 Nations

In News by Porter Anderson

More than 150 titles from 30 nations were submitted for this year’s ‘Books at Berlinale’, in which a final selection of 12 books will be pitched to filmmakers at the Berlinale Film Festival.

At the Berlinale. Image – iStockphoto: Cesaria 1

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Titles Include Frankfurt Guest of Honor Georgia

Books at Berlinale has announced its final list of 12 books to be pitched to filmmakers at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival. This literary session sees publishers and literary agents pitch books to film producers.

The Berlin International Film Festival (February 15 through 25 this year) has staged this event in cooperation with the Frankfurter Buchmesse as part of the Berlinale Co-Production Market since 2006.

The Books at Berlinale program has become known as a source of curated literary content for filmmakers and a networking opportunity between literary and film reps. This year’s session is scheduled for February 19, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Festsaal room of the Abgeordnetenhaus, the state parliament building, in Berlin.

This year’s 12 selections for presentation:

  • 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

Nine nations are represented in the chosen selections, and the books being presented cast a wide net thematically, ranging from topics of immigration to food-tasting for Hitler, from slavery to alienation.

In a prepared statement, Juergen Boos, Frankfurter Buchmesse’s director, is quoted, saying:

Juergen Boos

“Good books are an important source of inspiration for film producers. 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 Honor 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.”

Among the best-known authors’ names on the list, of course, is Isabel Allende, whose timely In the Midst of Winter explores issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees.

By contrast, Şebnem İşigüzel’s The Girl in the Tree examines developments in Turkey from the viewpoint of a girl who lives in one of Gülhane Park’s trees. The book is represented by Nermin Mollaoğlu’s Kalem Agency in Istanbul.

In another prepared statement for the media, Deiter Kosslick, the director of the Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival, is quoted, saying, “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.”

There’s still time for interested producers, journalists, publishers, and literary agents to register to participate in the Books at Berlinale program in February. Signal your interest by sending an email by February 9 to books@berlinale.de.


    • Publishing Perspectives’ coverage of past years’ “Books at Berlinale” events is here.
    • This year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse is set for October 10 through 14.
About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, at London's The Bookseller. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.