At Frankfurt: Books-to-Screen Events Include Producers and Publishers

In News by Porter Anderson

At Frankfurter Buchmesse, books-to-screen adaptation takes stage on October 20 with several events programmed across the trade show.

In a Frankfurter Buchmesse session in 2022, Josephine Apraku discusses narrative treatments of love in film adaptations, books, and music. Image: FBM, Domenic, Driessen

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

Bringing Film Professionals to Frankfurt
Not for nothing did IMDB—the Internet Movie Database—on Tuesday (August 26) list another of its “New and Upcoming Book-to-Screen Adaptations” lists—here set to alphabetical ordering–a resource closely followed by both IMDB Pro’s users in the news media and also in its consumer editions.

So it is that the concept of books being adapted for film and television continues to gain traction, not just with publishers in the international book business but also with some consumers who now make the adaptation question a criterion for their viewing lists.

As many trade visitors to Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22) will realize, this can only be good for world publishing as the streamers pump content into homes across languages and continents—and the writers’ and actors’ strikes drag on in the industry.

‘Stories From Franz’

At CNN Business, Oliver Darcy writes that “Hollywood is still stuck in strike Hell. … Both the writers and studios do share one common belief,” he writes, “that the strike has gone on too long” but with no resolution in view yet, as the summer comes to its Labor Day end in the United States. And at the Los Angeles Times, Wendy Lee’s reporting is revealing how alarmed the State of California is becoming, its treasurer, Fiona Ma, calling on studios “represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, urging them to negotiate ‘fair deals’ to end the dual strikes led by film and television writers and actors.” Her focus: “the damage the prolonged labor dispute is having on the state’s economy.”

In Germany, trade fair organizers have announced that Frankfurt Friday, October 20, will be “Book-to-Screen Day” with programming intended to bring together publishers and filmmakers, and a big emphasis on the new film based on Christine Nöstlinger’s children’s work.

The program is to offer:

  • A tour of the world’s largest international book trade show for international producers and filmmakers
  • A matchmaking event curated again this year by Buchmesse and the Berlinale for film producers, publishers, and agents
  • “Comics’ Cocktail,” a curated comics-to-screen matchmaking event set in the Hall 6.1 Comics Center
Looking Forward to ‘Franz’

Film poster, ‘Neue Geschichten vom Franz,’ the film adaptation of Christine Nöstlinger’s work releasing on September 7. Image: Verlagsgruppe Oetinger, NGF/Wild Bunch Germany

In the Frankfurt Pavilion, set in Messe Frankfurt’s Agora, there’s a German-language event set from 2 to 3 p.m. titled “Neue Geschichten vom Franz” (“New Stories from Franz”), referencing the screen adaptation of the children’s book series by Christine Nöstlinger.

In that program, produced in cooperation with the Berlinale Co-Production Market, the presenter Syd Atlas—familiar to Publishing Perspectives readers for her work as host of the Books at Berlinale program—will have with her a group of guests who will discuss behind-the-scenes aspects of the live-action film releasing September 7 with:

  • Anna Zielasko, senior rights manager with Oetinger Publishing
  • Katharina Posch, producer
  • Nikolaus Geyrhalter, film production
  • Sarah Wassermair, screenwriter

Speaking at Frankfurt Pavilion on October 20 about the new film adaptation ‘Neue Geschichten vom Franz’ are, from left, Syd Atlas (image: Daniel Steinmetz); Sarah Wassermair (image: Barbara Dinkelmann); Anna Zielasko; and Katharina Posch (image: Caterina Donner)

The film is directed by Johannes Schmid and stars Ursula Strauss, Simon Schwartz, and Leo Wacha. In it, Franz and his buddies rescue what looks like a bad summer with an investigation of a neighborhood thief.

Immediately after the Franz session in the Pavilion, the Aldus Up stage in Hall 4.1 from 3 to 8 p.m. will focus on issues in diversity in film and illustration. The B3: Bienale of the Moving Image and the Academy for Children’s Media are organizing a program focused on developing projects for young audiences.

Book-to-Screen events in the Frankfurt Pavilion and on the Aldus Up stage are open to all trade fair visitors. In other events, the number of participants is limited.

Prior to Frankfurt Friday

As early as Tuesday, October 17, the eve of Frankfurt Book Fair’s official opening on Wednesday, Frankfurter Buchmesse at 8 p.m. will be a partner in the Frankfurt premiere at Cinéma Kino of “Ingeborg Bachmann: Reise in die Wüste (Ingeborg Bachmann: Journey Into the Desert).

After the screening, director Margarethe von Trotta and Ina Hartwig, who heads up the City of Frankfurt’s Department of Culture and Science, will discuss the Austrian poet Bachmann discuss the film’s production with moderator Sandra Kegel, of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Tickets are available in advance at the cinema.

On Friday, Hesse’s state minister of arts and culture, Angela Dorn, will be present for the Hessian Film and Cinema Award at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, with presenters Annabelle Mandeng and Rainer Ewerrien.

During Frankfurt Weekend (October 20 to 22), cinemas in the city will screen the program’s award-winning films.

And, as Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, the Frankfurt Rights Meeting on September 19 will be in its third of five events, the digital presentation of “From Book to Screen: Exploring the Film (Rights) Market” with Erin P. Hennicke, independent literary scout and founder of BookSmart Literary Scouting, and Hannah Vaughn, a literary agent with the Gersh Agency.

Hennicke will be focusing on both ‘traditional’ film rights sales as well as the streaming scene—which is part of the uproar behind those labor strikes—as well as business models, content requirements. and production times.

Keep in mind that this year’s newly reformatted Frankfurt Rights Meeting starts on Tuesday (September 5) with a discussion of artificial intelligence. More on the program and registration for these events, which will culminate in an on-site reception at Frankfurt, is here.

Below is a trailer for the forthcoming film, Neue Geschichten vom Franz:

More from Publishing Perspectives on books-to-film and words-to-screen issues is here, more on film adaptations is here, and more on Frankfurter Buchmesse 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 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.