Participant, PublicAffairs ink book, film deal

Toronto title 'Food, Inc.' is the first pic of the series

NEW YORK -- Participant Media is forging its first book deal, and politico publisher PublicAffairs is launching the series with an adaptation of the producer's Toronto entry "Food, Inc."

Each book in the series will support Participant's activism agenda, providing additional material about its films, commentary from experts on their subjects and resources for organizations involved with each featured cause.

The companies are in discussion about at least four book adaptations (including "Food" and three other upcoming films), and may collaborate on more projects in the future.

"Food, Inc.," a Participant/River Road Entertainment production premiering Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival, will be released in the spring alongside the editor Karl Weber's paperback "Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food Is Making Us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer -- And What You Can Do About It."

The book will delve into feature director Robert Kenner's research for his docu, and film interview subjects Eric Schlosser ("Fast Food Nation") and Michael Pollan ("The Omnivore's Dilemma") will add to the feature's examination of the mechanics, politics, environmental issues and potential dangers behind what we eat.

Perseus Books Group label PublicAffairs' titles include memoirs by former White House officials Scott McClellan and Vernon Jordan.

"We're especially pleased to be teaming with PublicAffairs, whose mission to publish books that matter aligns so closely with Participant's goal to create entertainment that inspires and compels social change," president Ricky Strauss said. His Groundswell Prods./Participant co-production "The Visitor" turned out to be the smartest pickup at last year's Toronto fest when Overture Films released it in the spring.

Participant was represented by Nancy Cushing-Jones at Broadthink, who negotiated the deal with PublicAffairs.