Frankfurter Buchmesse Announces 2019 Film Awards Shortlists

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A total 11 titles are in contention this year in the Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Film Awards program, which has its awards night in the Agora at Messe Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Pavilion.

On the red carpet at the Frankfurt Pavilion during the 2018 Frankfurter Buchmesse. The pavilion will be the site of the film awards program on Saturday, October 19. Image: FBM, Anett Weirauch

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

Adaptations and Illustrated Books on Film
With an awards ceremony planned for 8 p.m. on Frankfurt Saturday, October 19, in the Frankfurt Pavilion, the Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Awards–part of the book fair’s extensive Focus: Film program–on Friday (September 20) issued their shortlists in the competition’s three categories.

To select the winning films, Juergen Boos, president and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse, assists an advisory board that comprises:

  • Frederic Boyer, artistic director of the Tribeca Film Festival and Les Arcs European Film Festival
  • Beat Glur, music and film critic
  • Ellen M. Harrington, director of the Deutsches Filminstitut and Filmmuseum
  • Ulrich Höcherl, editor-in-chief of Blickpunkt
  • Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos chief curator of film with the Museum of Modern Art in New York
  • Signe Zeilich0-Jensen, film commissioner with the Netherlands Film Fund
  • Leo Barraclough, international features editor at Variety

In a prepared statement about the newly announced shortlists, Boos is quoted, saying, “The boom in literary adaptations continues unabated—film professionals, authors, and publishers are increasingly strengthening their network to create joint projects.

“With the Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Awards, we offer an event that’s a source both of inspiration and networking.”

2019 Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Award Shortlist

Best Illustrated Book on Film

  • Andrej Tarkovskij Leben und Werk (Andrei Tarkovsky: Life and Work) edited by Andrej Tarkovsky Jr., Hans-Joachim Schlegel and Lothar Schirmer (Schirmer Mosel)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West: Shooting a Masterpiece  by Christopher Frayling with photographer Angelo Novi Reel Art Press)
  • The Big Illusion, or How to Build a Movie Miracle (Slovart Publishing)

This is the category in which Frankfurt has its partnership with the Motovun Group of International Publishers (MGIP) to  recognize a book for its “original book concept, to honor outstanding design and production quality and the compelling adaptation into book form of a film-related subject.”

Best International Literary Adaptation

  • Animals: Book by Emma Jane Unsworth, directed by Sophie Hyde
  • Deutschstunde (The German Lesson): Book by Siegfried Lenz, directed by Christian Schwochow
  • Out Stealing Horses (Pferde Stehlen) (Ut og stjæle hester): Bookl by Per Petterson, directed by Hans Petter Moland
  • The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão (Die Sehnsucht der Schwestern Gusmão) (A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão): Bookl by Martha Batalha, directed by Karim Aïnouz)
  • The Master Butcher (Der Club der Singenden Metzger): Book by Louise Erdrich, directed by Ulrich Edel

Best International Adaptation for Children or Young Adults

  • Alfons Zitterbacke: Das Chaos is zurück (Alfons Zitterbacke: Return of the Chaos) (Gerart Holtz-Baumert, Mark Schlichter)
  • Mein Lotta Leben: Alles Bingo mit Flamingo (My Life as Lotta – All Bingo with Flamingo) (Alice Pantermüller, Neele Leana Vollmar)
  • My Extraordinary Summer with Tess (Anna Woltz, Steven Woulterlood)

Previous winners of the film awards include:

  • Tom Ford (2016)
  • Todd Haynes (2015)
  • Anton Corbijn (2014)
  • The couple Ziad Doueiri and Joelle Touma (2013),
  • Stephen Daldry (2012)
  • Producer David Heyman (2011)
Frankfurt’s Focus: Film Networking Day 2019

You now can see a rundown of speakers and events in the Focus: Film program set for Frankfurt Friday, October 18.

Running from 9:30 a.m. through to a reception that goes to 7 p.m., the program has separate registration available here, and has been known in the past as “A Book Is a Film Is a Game.”

The day’s program includes a pitching session moderated by Syd Atlas (of the Books at Berlinale pitch program).

A panel on women in film is to include Grace Glowicki, award winning, LA=based director, actress, and producer, known for Her Friend Adam and featured by B3 Biennale / THE ARTS+; Pier Nirandara, director of development for international \content at Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment; and Signe Pahle, producer and CEO of Athene Fiction in Frankfurt Guest of Honor Norway.


More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more from us on awards in publishing is here, and more on the development of book content for film and television is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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