Spain’s Liber 24 Issues a Book-to-Film Adaptation Award

In News by Porter Anderson

The board of Liber 24 names director Patricia Font’s film adaptation of Francesc Escribano’s book, ‘The Teacher Who Promised the Sea,’ for its book-to-screen award at Barcelona this year.

The Catalonian actor and writer Enric Auquer in a production still from director Patricia Font’s film adaptation of Francesc Escribano’s ‘El maestro que prometió el mar,’ chosen for the 2024 film adaptation award of the upcoming Liber trade show in Barcelona. Image: Provided by Liber 24

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

Honoring Film Adaptations and Cultural Media Programming
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the Liber publishing trade fair series in Spain divides itself between Madrid and Barcelona, and this time, Liber 24 will be hosted by Barcelona, October 1 to 3.

Each year, whether in Barcelona or Madrid, the show names winners of several awards. And despite the awards program being more than four months away, the organizers of the show have announced today (July 19), have announced that El maestro que prometió el marThe Teacher Who Promised the Sea—has won the Liber Prize for an audiovisual adaptation of a literary work to film.

A second honor, the Liber Award for the Promotion of Reading in the Media goes to a radio program called La Cultureta of Onda Cero’s Más de Uno.

A formal presentation of these two awards is to be made on October 2, organizers say, at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

‘The Importance of Teachers’

El maestro que prometió el mar is directed by Patricia Font, with a script by Albert Val and production by Minoria Absoluta, Lastor Media, Filmax, and Mestre Films AIE.

In issuing the award, FGEE’s board of directors said they wanted to highlight “how the story of a family caught in the tragedies of the Spanish civil war has been brought to the screen, and for reflecting the importance of teachers in our society.”

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Francesc Escribano, published by Art Blume, and it tells the story of Ariadna (played by Laia Costa), who finds a mysterious notebook and decides to search for her grandfather’s teacher, discovering a story marked by tragedy.

In 1935, Antoni Benaiges (Enric Auquer) gets a teaching position in a small isolated village in Burgos, where he establishes an intense relationship with his students and makes them a promise to take them to see the sea for the first time. The daughter discovers the story 75 years later.

‘Issues Related to Books’

Carlos Alsina on the Liber-awarded ‘La Cultureta on Wave Zero radio’s ‘More Than One.’ Image: Liber 24

The choice to feature  the weekly program La Cultureta is based on the board’s desire “to highlight how a traditional medium like radio, can devote special attention to issues related to books, their authors, and the promotion of reading.”

“Every Friday,” the board’s citation reads, “La Cultureta is in charge of talking about the world of the arts, bringing culture and books closer to the general public.” The segment, hosted by Carlos Alsina, is part of the program which also includes Biblioterapia with Sergio del Molino, which is another part of the broadcast focused on books.

Liber 24

The entry at Barcelona Fira of the 2022 edition of Liber. Image: Liber 22

Liber 2024 is organized by Fira de Barcelona and promoted by the Federación de Gremios de Editores de España, , the Federation of Spanish Publishers’ Guilds (FGEE).

It’s sponsored by the ministry of culture and sport; ICEX Exports and Investments; CEDRO; generalitat of Catalunya, ajuntament of Barcelona; and the collaboration of Acción Cultural Española AC/E, Gremi d’Editors de Catalunya, and l’Associació d’Editors en Llengua Catalana.

This year’s staging of the show is expected to feature more than 350 publishers and related companies, with their publication lists, as well as service vendors’ products and services related to book sales and distribution.

The fair typically also features a professional program, with conferences and seminars examining this year’s status of the Spanish book industry and the state of its value chain.

Professiona attendees at Barcelona’s Liber 2022. This year, the show returns from Madrid to Barcelona’s Fira complex. Image: Liber 22


More from Publishing Perspectives on book and publishing awards is here, more on the Spanish market is here, and more from Publishing Perspectives on book-to-film and words-to-screen adaptation development is here. More on Spain’s industry-oriented Liber series of trade shows in Barcelona and Madrid 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.com, 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.