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books | Frankfurt, the grand story bazaar for future series and entertainment



Frankfurt is, until Sunday, the undisputed book capital of the world. With Spain and its literature as guests, Buchmesse focused tens of thousands of exchanges, conversations, meetings and business agreements between professionals from all over the world for an intense five days. From this cauldron of writers, agents, translators and editors will come a large part of them What we will read in the coming months. But also what we’ll see and hear in podcasts and audiobooks. Because in addition to being the center of writers, in recent years the gallery has become a place to go to find stories, no matter how they are told. There wasn’t as much filming as there is now nor was there such a hunger for original stories.

Bazaar for series

Everyone is here: Amazon, Netflix, Disney, Apple TV, HBO… They come from L.A. for two or three nights, despite the great bulk. And many independent producers visit the disguised exhibition ” Explains the Anna Soler-Pont de Pontas agency, which specializes in managing audiovisual rights for authors. Pontas has been visiting the gallery for more than 30 years (she was the curator of the 2007 programme, when Catalan culture was the guest of honor) and one of the trends I noticed in this edition is the change in the scale of projects of this interest.

“Contemporary stories are in demand and not too expensive to produce. The big thing has already been done”, explains. After a fall marked by mass productions such as “The House of the Dragon” and “The Rings of Power” (the most expensive series in history), a return to Simpler and closer stories.

second life

In Spain, the relationship between the big publishing groups, Planeta and Penguin Random House, streaming platforms and audiovisual production companies has been, for some time now, almost symbiotic. It has to be, because they are both, after all, a fictional and non-fictional content creator. in this meaning, Both Planeta and Penguin have two teams that are loyal and very specialized in selling the rights to their books. Beyond our borders, but also, these stories travel to the small or big screen, enjoying a second life and reaching millions of viewers around the world.

This is the case, for example, with Luz Gabás, recent Planeta Prize winner with Lejos de Luisiana in bookstores on November 4. Atresmedia’s successful adaptation of ‘Palmeras en la nieve’ in 2016, with Mario Casas and Adriana Ugarte as the protagonists, was one of the first national productions Netflix included in its catalog, bringing the Gabás story to a global audience. Many saw in the recent “Planet” giving the writer another opportunity to repeat the formula. It rolls a lot The audiovisual adaptation novel is the order of the day.

On the lookout for directions

In the case of Planeta, Francisco Javier Sanzés is the head of the book and film rights department. “The film and series industry has always had a keen interest in literary adaptations. The platforms have been attending major book fairs for a few years now. It doesn’t mean that they’re looking for content other than what they’d normally look for; In general, they have really well defined editorial lines. I think their main concern is to be aware of emerging trends, and of course, Keep an eye out for two or three “fair books” that might be future bestsellers, In case they could choose them before anyone else, he explains.

“Chatting with editors gives them valuable first-hand information,” he adds. It is no coincidence that this week Frankfurt Fair coincides with the celebration of MIPCOM (International market for co-production and entertainment content) in Cannes. Large platforms usually attend both events.

If he has to look for a direction, and what platforms and producers are looking for it now, Sanz believes that “there is a lot of interest in non-fiction books, that is, True stories, to beat, can be taken to fiction& rdquo;.

Two very vivid examples of his collection are “If the Voices Return” by Angel Martin, the book in which the comedian and TV presenter recounts the outbreak of psychosis he suffered a few years ago, or “El Gran Salto,” where Olympic champion Gervasio Dever tells of his addiction to alcohol.

“Those types of stories to beat first-person stories started to become trendy from a documentaries point of view and the novel sections saw that they had to go there” Planeta’s Book and Film Rights Officer also highlights the interest in “Stories for teenagers between the ages of 16 and 20which includes directions within directions, ie: which has A love story, but if mixed with dystopia and “crime” better. She’s betting a little on everything, but that’s what’s needed right now: Contemporary Stories.

Spanish passing story

LGTBIQ+ theme and personal stories related to gender identity They are also among the most sought after in the show. One of the books will be in the exhibition Alana S. Portero, historian, writer, playwright and theater director Born in Madrid in 1978. In it, Portero who is Transgender, he recounts his “coming of age” in the 1980s in the San Blas neighborhood.

His agent held an auction in Spain before the exhibition began and Seix Barral retained the rights to the Spanish language. In a short time, it sold the translation rights to the United States, as well as to Germany and other countries such as Greece.

It is indeed one of the “hot books” of the show. The international success of The movie “Las malas” by Camila Sosa Velada aroused a lot of interest ” Txell Torrent, of MB Literary Agency, which sold the rights to .’s latest article, agrees Elizabeth Duval into english. In the Anglo-Saxon market, “After the Trans” would be called “Post-Trans”.

The title of Alana S. Portero’s book will be “La malacustom,” set in Madrid in the 1980s and 1990s, in the context of the class struggle that “reads like A contemporary offbeat tale: A trans hero’s life journey where addicts, pop divas, and fallen angels They come together to save her from a world bent on crushing her fully living fantasies,” according to the publisher. The novel was acquired for English-language publication worldwide by Six numbers in advance And by Flammarion for the French market.

At Penguin Random House, José Rafoso is responsible for ensuring that publisher titles have a second audiovisual life. Ravoso is the director of the author’s office, the department that has sold his rights in recent months “Tierra” directed by Eloy Moreno, which will become a series Together with production companies Paradise Falls and Wanda with an international team, and “Culpa mía” by Mercedes Ron, which will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in the summer of 2023.

From Frankfurt, where he goes to the diabolical rhythm of a meeting every twenty minutes, Ravoso says, “There is really no consistent pattern, because every platform is at a different time and looks for different stories. Yes, there are two or three things they all agree on: A thriller with an exciting hue that’s not classic, but modern ”Elite style. Ravoso considers that “everyone wants to find a unique story, preferably with heroines who have a strong role”.

Attention to the local

Agent Amaiur Fernández of the International Editor’s Agency Co has discovered another trend: withdrawing translations of their literature, something Soler-Pont agrees. “Translation is expensive and the times when a book came out in 20 or 25 languages ​​is over, and that only happens with great successes.

There is a return to the local, to the navel stare that may have something to do with the resurgence of nationalism across Europe” explains. More literary posters that pack a punch: File ‘Comfortable crime’ (where Richard Osman was king), “rom com” (Essentially, a new way of describing “chick lit” where Alice Hazelbad and Colin Hoover represent the new Helen Fielding) and a non-fiction novel.

Fernandez knows one thing for sure saturation In the magnet effect that audiovisual adaptations used to have. Ten years ago, this movie-adapted book was a sure-fire ploy to sell him more. but note Fire and Blood, the novel on which House of the Dragon is based: It’s not on the bestseller list.

Beyond the books of traders and influencersThey are looking for books that appeal to new generations and reflect their lives, interests and interests, notes agent Bernat Fayol, who sold the rights to one of the big platforms. “If Princesses Use Tinder” by Maria Monrabal A Mexican production company has options for adapting to Albert Beguan’s “Tsunami”. It’s a sparkling moment in which production companies are interested in all kinds of books and genres. Many books are chosen to be able to have a meeting, for example, HBO. It’s hard because Of the seven projects they are interested in in one project.

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