Cannes: Shoot The Book! Pitching Hosts Worldwide Producers

French publishers show literary works with potential film adaptation

New York’s Samuel Goldberg Ent., Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Pictures, U.K.’s Warp Films and Brazil’s Globo Filmes are among the international film prodcos attending the 2nd Cannes’ Shoot the Book!, a pitching of literary works with potential film adaptation.

Taking place Tuesday May 19 at the Palais des Festivals, event unspools against the backdrop of a 68th Cannes Festival that shows a significant presence of adaptations: Seven Official Selection titles based on works of literature.

By May 17, 310 international and local producers had confirmed their presence at Shoot the Book!. Among French film production houses figure Mars Films, Wild Bunch, Gaumont and Haut et Court.

“The attendance of producers from around the world is key for us because it means an internationalization of French literature’s potential for film adaptation,” said Olivier-Rene Veillon, CEO of the Ile de France Film Commission, a Shoot the Book! co-organizer.

“Cannes is the best place to celebrate this event since it brings together almost all independent producers that count in the world,” he added.

A jury of 15 international film experts has selected ten literary works among 27 submissions, that will be pitched at a session moderated by Isabelle Fauvel, development consultant at Initiative Film.

The main part of the ten chosen works are novels, such as Violette Cabesos’ “The Angel’s Promise,” a bestselling book on an archaeologist visited in her dreams by a headless monk, set in the contemporary world and the Middle Ages; Juliette Morillot’s “The Red Orchids of Shanghai,” about Korean “comfort women” abducted to work in brothels reserved exclusively for Japanese soldiers during WWII, and Yanick Lahens’ Haiti-set drama “The Color of Dawn,” which reportedly offers great opportunities for outstanding visual creation.

Editions Gallimard, part of Madrigall, one of France’s biggest publishing houses, will pitch Scholastique Mukasonga’s multi-awarded book “Our Lady of the Nile,” which turns on the race hatred in Rwanda. Editions Liana Levi will present Emmanuel Grand’s “End of the Line,” an action detective novel that follows three young friends traveling from Ukraine to France.

Set in Paris in 2060, futuristic comedy “Dolfy and Marily,” written by Francois Saintonge, meets the clones of Adolf Hitler and Marilyn Monroe. In psychological novel “Anna Song’s Double Life,” Minh Tran Huy writes about the death of a mysterious musician, considered the greatest living pianist, although no one had ever seen her in concert.

Three of the literary works are graphic or comic books: Homs & Giroud’s dramedy “The Angelus,” war adventure story “Gold and Blood,” whose writers include Maurin Defrance, and Raule & Roger’s “Jazz Maynard,” a thriller on a trumpet player, and full-time robber.

“The selection has very diverse contents, with different literary forms,” said Olivier-Rene Veillon, also a Shoot the Book! jury member.

“We found creative universes that we didn’t imagine, and we were interested in introducing them: the most surprising may be the most interesting for producers who seek originality. Within the ten works chosen, there are really original contents,” he added.

The pitch presentation session at the Palais’ Salon des Ambassadeurs will be held from 10.30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., followed by a cocktail. What’s new for the current edition is that, from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m., the Cinemas du Monde Pavillion will host B2B meetings between international producers and French publishers.

Organizers of the second edition of Shoot the Book! also include France’s SCELF, the Society of French Publishers, BIEF, an international publishing promotion arm, and book observatory MOTif.

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