Frankfurter Buchmesse ‘Sends’ Publishers, Agents to Cannes Online

In News by Porter Anderson

Coronavirus Response: Frankfurt’s SCELF program—in which publishers and agents can pitch titles to film producers at Cannes—this year, like so many events, is playing out in the digital space.

A shot from December at Cannes’ Palais des Festivals when the film festival was being promoted to tourists as a “destination in advance.” As it has turned out, the coronavirus COVID-19 has prompted the festival and Frankfurter Buchmesse’s program for publishers and agents to go online this week. Image – iStockphoto: Julien Viry

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

A Digital Tour of a Digital Cannes
In Variety’s online show daily for the digital doing of the Cannes Marché du Film, you see are ads for shooting locations not only with tax incentives but also promises of safety. There’s a strong push in today’s (June 22) event-opening daily, for example, from venues in Spain, which still ranks as the nation with the world’s eighth-highest caseload of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

“Mallorca,” says one such full-page ad. “Safe shooting for your location.”

“Shooting in Spain,” says another. “Safe and secure destination in COVID times.”

The reason, of course, that the 73rd Cannes festival has moved itself onto the Internet with its usual splashy physical gathering waylaid in the pandemic’s restrictions. And the last Publishing Perspectives readers will have heard of its planned tour of publishers and literary agents to Cannes was our January call for applications.

As it happens, Frankfurt’s program is going forward in a digital format of its own on Thursday and Friday (June 25 and 26).

This year’s participants in the online version of the publishers’ and agents’ tour are:

  • Agentur Kroll (Germany)
  • ALT autores Editorial (Spain)
  • Elisabeth Ruge Agentur (Germany)
  • Guernica Editions (Canada)
  • Loewe Verlag (Germany)
  • Oslo Literary Agency (Norway)
  • Ravensburger Verlag (Germany)
  • Rowohlt Agentur für Medienrechte (Germany)
  • S. Fischer Verlag (Germany)
  • The Italian Literary Agency (Italy)
  • TOKYOPOP (Germany)
‘Shoot the Book’ Includes Pitching

Parallel to the Marché du Film Online, the Société Civile des Editeurs de Langue Française (SCELF) and the Institut Français have persevered with Frankfurt so that the 11 participants selected can move in digital ways to forge ahead.

The online program for them—called Shoot the Book, as usual—will offer its participants meetings with producers, as usual, in which the publishers and agents can present titles for potential screen development. There’s a catalogue here, as before, always interesting to peruse.

And there’s to be a video pitching event in which Annette Orre for the Oslo Agency will present Gøhril Gabrielsen’s Arrival. The Kroll Agency’s eponymous Frank Kroll will present To Die in Spring by Ralf Rothman.

As our readers know, Frankfurt’s involvement began in 2017 with last year’s publishers’ tour being the first. You can read our report on the 2019 outing here.

A page from the 2020 ‘Shoot the Book’ catalogue

More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here. And more from us on words to screens and book adaptation news is here. More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.

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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.