Monaco booking lit chatter

U.S. presence will be biggest yet for fifth edition

PARIS — Key European decisionmakers in the publishing and audiovisual fields will convene in Monaco this weekend for the Intl. Film and Literature Forum, whose mission to break down barriers between movies and manuscripts is gradually gathering steam.

While Hollywood has long sought to ferret out promising books in their manuscript stage, it’s been an uphill battle to convince Gaul’s vast yet tradition-bound book industry that there’s a world of options — literally — out there for adaptable stories.

While U.S. talents such as Nicholas Pileggi (“GoodFellas”), Nora Ephron and Michael Cimino were on hand for the first Forum barely a month after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the American presence will be the biggest yet for the fifth edition.

Development execs from New Line, Fox 2000, DreamWorks and Tribeca Films are among the Yanks to meet their opposite numbers from French studios, TV production outfits and other key outlets for literary adaptations.

Helmer John McTiernan will hold forth on the pleasures and pitfalls of turning novels into blockbusters; youthful French hotshots Florian Zeller and Frederic Beigbeder are expected to rub elbows with other current and past winners of Gaul’s most coveted literary prizes; and distinguished Euro thesps will read passages of adaptation-ready books.

The top brass of Italy’s Cinecitta studio complex are expected for this edition’s regional emphasis on Italy.

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