Frankfurt Book Fair sets up at fest for soph year

The Berlinale and the Frankfurt Book Fair have been getting increasingly chummy in the past year. A partnership between the two events began at the Berlinale in 2005, and that was followed by joint industry events at the Book Fair in October.

The Book Fair and the Berlinale have a common aim, say organizers: to help successful books enjoy a second life on the big or small screen. “The goal is to initiate new projects through exchange between literature and film,” says Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.

The Book Fair is partnering with both the European Film Market and the Co-Production Market in Berlin.

This year’s Co-Production Market was extended an extra day through Feb. 14 in order to round up film producers for its special “Breakfast & Books” event.

A selection of 10 literary works will be presented for international film adaptations at the gathering.

Producers also will have the opportunity to chat up reps from the publishing world.

Ties between the Book Fair and the Berlinale strengthened after the Book Fair started its own film section and organizers contacted the Berlinale about a collaboration.

“We thought that if the two biggest cultural events in Germany could cooperate, it would be a step forward for both sides,” says Katharina Werdnik, the Book Fair’s film and TV project manager.

Publishers visited the European Film Market last year and were excited enough to set up an umbrella stand this year.

With the market growing rapidly and attracting international clientele, it’s the perfect place for leading publishers to sell movie rights.

The Frankfurt Book Fair already offers an agent center and “speed dating” meetings among producers, literary agents and publishers, but the Berlinale could dramatically increase communication between the two industries.

In addition to similar meetings at the EFM, the Book Fair is drawing up a catalog of books that are on offer for film rights.

Werdnik calls the Berlinale “the quintessential partner” for the Book Fair. “We are in a position to bring people together. We have the know-how in publishing and, correspondingly, the Berlinale is the one to tell the production people, ‘Hey, look at what the Book Fair has on offer in terms of literary rights.’ “

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