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The Berlin Film Festival has offered a literary marketplace, Books at Berlinale, since 2006, as part of its annual co-production market.
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
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
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.
The Eduard Einstein Case by Lauren Seksik
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.
Love, Love Me Do by Mark Haysom
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.
This Place Holds No Fear by Monika Held
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.
Czernin or How I Learned to Understand World War I by Hans von Trotha
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.
The Latecomer (aka The Misfortunates) by Dimitri Verhulst
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.
More by Hakan Gunda
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.
Twelve Meters by Andi Rogenhagen
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.
Daughter of the Flowers by Vanessa da Mata
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.
A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer
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!
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