“Cinema can give books a second life”: this comment “” by Erica Berla, a literary agent who took part in the second edition of Industry Books “” suitably describes the atmosphere on October 27th when representatives from publishing houses met up with producers looking for new stories for their movies at the Casa del Cinema in Rome.
The ten books selected by an international jury made up of producers Elda Ferri, Philipp Kreuzer and Tim Smith, were “accompanied” by as many publishers and literary agents: 7 from Italy and 3 from the United Kingdom.
The titles, information sheets and an introduction to the event can be found in the guide that Cinema & Video International has realized again this year in partnership with Industry Books, with the support of Sviluppo Lazio.
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The 90 meetings held with 21 European producers demonstrated the growing interest in this initiative and appreciation for the formula used: it is a useful event for publishers and audiovisual producers who are always looking out for books to make up for the lack of original stories.
A number of trends and some significant signs emerged from the comments of the participants (which are reported in a separate section).
Nearly all the professionals in attendance were pleased that the pitching phase had been replaced by a more flexible roundup of all the books selected, presented by Eric Lyman, a journalist from ‘The Hollywood Reporter’.
The decision to dedicate more time to individual meetings was also a great success.
This year, it emerged even more clearly that the interest in the meetings is based more on the proposals contained in the catalogues than the individual titles selected: many producers would like the shortlist of titles to be expanded and some publishers felt penalized by having to concentrate on just one title which was also “blocked” for several months, in terms of promotion and rights negotiations, from the time of selection until it was presented).
In this regard, it is significant that, in one of the interviews, a literary agent (Valentina Balzarotti of Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale) referred to having sold the rights to a book at last year’s edition of Industry Books which was not in the official selection.
The importance of the synergy with New Cinema Network was confirmed.
This section presents the pool of international independent producers to publishers.
It is interesting that occasions like Industry Books are not just appreciated by small companies but also by those you would expect to already have privileged scouting channels for books (Rai Cinema, Palomar, IIF).
Whilst the publishers displayed a high level of curiosity about the world of cinema, and a desire to learn its “language”, the producers wanted to “follow the life” of the books presented and to get some feedback from the organizers of Industry Books about what happened after the meetings ended (Francesca Barra, Barra Films).
It is not a coincidence that the meetings held on the 27th were preceded by the presentation of BookCiak, a web platform created by the Associazione Calipso to promote encounters between publishers and audiovisual producers (www.bookciak.it).
Finally, some notes about the books presented: from the comments we gathered, which were certainly not exhaustive but still offer some general indications, there was a particular interest in topics and genres, such as assisted fertility (“100 Microns”), and children’s literature ( “Il libero regno dei ragazzi”), highlighting the audiovisual producers’ search for topical stories aimed at a traditional yet often neglected target audience: 12 “” 14 year olds.
The attention to comedy paid off, drawing visitors to titles such as ” Scusate la polvere” and “Esche vive”.
Amongst the British novels, “Stealing Fire” attracted producers because of its potential for international co-productions, whereas “Almodis” was considered to be interesting due to its suitability for TV adaptation.
Confirming the event’s return next year, for a third edition, Diamara Parodi Delfino, the head of Industry Books, said:
“once again we will be taking on board all the comments gathered by Cinema & Video International to help us to further improve the formula at the next edition. We realize that the six month block on novels restricts publishers also in terms of the quality of the proposals they decide to put forward and which could attract more producers. We will put all our efforts into re-examining this formula with the International Turin Book Fair and the Associazione Calipso in order to increase the quality and, possibly, the quantity at the 3rd edition”.