The Cannes Film Festival is also a market, and all occasions are good for doing business there. Among them publishers, eager to sell the rights to adapt their books, came to the Croisette to meet producers in search of good stories. One in five films would be an adaptation, according to a study carried out in 2018 by the review Livres Hebdo. And the rights, which vary according to the works, would be negotiated between 45,000 and 200,000 €, according to the National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image (CNC), sometimes well beyond when it comes to coveted bestsellers. .
For ten years, meetings between publishers and producers have been encouraged throughout the year by the Civil Society of French Language Publishers (Scelf) through the “Shoot the Book” operation. An initiative born in Cannes, the fruit of a conversation between its general delegate Thierry Frémaux and the publisher Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens. In a catalog of several hundred works with high potential for adaptation sent to producers, a dozen of them are “pitched” (summarized) in front of film professionals, then individual meetings organized the next day within the framework of the of the movie.
A short clip, highlighting the atmosphere, sets and characters, the publishers have a few minutes to praise the potential for transcription in the image of each book, including, this year, Satisfaction by Nina Bouraoui, Abîmes, a thriller by Sonja Delzongle, and several graphic novels. About 30% will be optioned and may one day come to life on screen. A Turkish book and an Italian had already found takers even before this year’s session, and Nathalie Piaskowski, director general of Scelf, recalls that the 2019 adaptation of Notre-Dame du Nilde Scholastique Mukasonga by Atiq Rahimi was born in festival.