Berlinale Blog “Books at Berlinale”: From the book to the film

“Books at Berlinale”
“Books at Berlinale” | © Berlinale

Film producers can unearth fresh material for the screen at the event “Books at Berlinale”. 11 selected novels were pitched at the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

What is hell for others is paradise for Valdemar Vågen. After an accident, the formerly restless entrepreneur is taken to hospital, where he does his utmost to remain – even if it means breaking his bones himself. Rita G. Karlsson of the Swedish Kontext Agency presented Roger Pihl’s book The Man Who Didn’t Want to Go Home and got plenty of laughs from the audience at the zany story of Valdemar.

“Jack Nicholson’s out of the question”

The venue, namely the auditorium in Berlin’s House of Representatives, was filled to capacity, and the stage set consisted of a bookcase replete with a cosy reading lamp. The mood was buoyant, thanks not only to the novels and other material pitched at this industry get-together (including everything from children’s books to thrillers), but also to the witty and intelligent presentation. There were even some queries about one actor or another who just might fit the bill for the character in question, and Jack Nicholson probably would indeed be just right for the part of Valdemar Vågen, as Karlsson admitted.

130 submissions this year

“The event goes down well with the industry,” explained Sonja Heinen, the affable director of the Co-Production Market. “We received 130 submissions this year, from which we handpicked a selection.” What began ten years ago with a big breakfast reception has since evolved into a veritable industry meeting in the movie business. And the run on the agencies at this Co-Production Market was proof positive that the professional get-up of the event and the charming manner of the organizers are clearly a recipe for success.