Berlin: Book Market Offers Eleven Key Titles For Option

From a true-life Argo-like story set in North Korea to a spooky thriller about a paralyzed man who helps solve a decades-old mystery by blinking, these are the books spotlighted for adaptation at this year's festival.

The Berlin Film Festival has offered a literary marketplace, Books at Berlinale, since 2006, as part of its annual co-production market.

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The event has been so successful that this year it has been opened up to producers who are not co-prod market participants. Organizers selected eleven books from among more than 120 entries to spotlight. Says Berlinale co-production market head Sonja Heinen of the event, to be held Feb. 11: “There is something here to fit every producer’s budget and interests.”

A rundown of the festival titles:

Melanie by Carel Donck

Country: Netherlands

A girl discovers her murdered sister was leading a double life as an escort and assumes her identity to find the killer.

Adaptability: Pretty girls, double identities, sex and a gruesome murder are the building blocks of many great movies.

***** (five out of five stars).

Back Up by Paul Colize

Country: France

After being hit by a car, an illegal alien can communicate only by blinking in a mystery that traces back to the 1970s.

Adaptability: Intrigue, locked-in syndrome and the wild 1970s could make for a riveting trailer and film.

***** (5/5)

The Eduard Einstein Case by Lauren Seksik

Country: France

Based on the true story of the schizophrenic son of Albert Einstein.

Adaptability: The family drama may appeal, but Eduard is likely not known well enough to draw huge crowds to the local cineplex.

** (2/5)

Love, Love Me Do by Mark Haysom

Country: U.K.

In 1963, a man moves his family to a camper in a forest then vanishes, leaving his wife and children to pick up the pieces.

Adaptability: An original and offbeat story that could make a compelling domestic drama.

*** (3/5)

This Place Holds No Fear by Monika Held

Country: Germany

In 1964, a Holocaust survivor is called to testify at the Auschwitz trials, where he falls in love with a translator.

Adaptability: A complicated narrative, long time frame (1930s-1980s) and wrenching material make it a tough sell.

** (2/5)

Czernin or How I Learned to Understand World War I by Hans von Trotha

Country: Germany

A man finds explosive documents belonging to his great-grandfather, a minister in the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Adaptability: The mix of modern-day and period drama could feed European audiences’ appetite for history.

*** (3/5)

The Latecomer (aka The Misfortunates) by Dimitri Verhulst

Country: Netherlands

The semiautobiographical novel is a tale of Belgian alcoholics, class differences, village life and a father-son relationship.

Adaptability: Think Shameless, the long-running U.K. show that also spawned a successful U.S. remake.

*** (3/5)

More by Hakan Gunda

Country: Turkey

The story of 9-year-old Gaza and his father, who makes money by helping migrants cross borders illegally.

Adaptability: Human trafficking isn’t a topic for hits, but the coming-of-age angle makes it more accessible.

*** (3/5)

Twelve Meters by Andi Rogenhagen

Country: Germany

When his teacher gives Philipp, 15, a bad grade, he hitchhikes to France to put a different head on the hated teacher’s favorite monument.

Adaptability: A teen-angst-driven quirky road movie could have appeal beyond Germany and France.

**** (4/5)

Daughter of the Flowers by Vanessa da Mata

Country: Brazil

A fantasy about three cousins who run a magical flower shop, a goddess who beds a man once a month and forbidden love.

Adaptability: Latin American magical realism has a mixed track record.

** (2/5)

A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer

Country: U.K.

The true tale of an A-list Asian film couple kidnapped by North Korean dictator Kim and forced to make propaganda films.

Adaptability: Think Argo in Asia!

***** 5/5)

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