Books hope to jump to the big screen at BIFF

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Books hope to jump to the big screen at BIFF

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Representatives from publishing companies that attended Book to Film to pitch their books pose for a photo at the event. [ASIAN FILM MARKET]

BUSAN - The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) provides a window of opportunity for renowned filmmakers, cineastes and actors to screen their work and to communicate with audiences about the films.

Another role of the annual festival, which kicked off on Oct. 6 and will continue until Saturday, is providing networking opportunities for content creators to meet professionals from the Asian film industry.

The Asian Film Market took place from Saturday to Tuesday this year, and boasted numerous events such as the Entertainment Intellectual Property Market (E-IP Market), where original stories can be bought and sold for adaptation across a number of media platforms.

A notable event at the E-IP Market is Book to Film, where publishers introduce their books to filmmakers in the hopes of having their books adapted to screen. Held on Saturday at Bexco Hall, next to the Busan Cinema Center, 10 books were pitched to filmmakers at the event with the hope of one day being made into films.

Unlike last year, when a variety of genres were introduced, five out of ten of the books presented this year fell into the thriller category.

“We didn’t intend to focus on thrillers this year,” said Susan Chae, a Selection Committee member from the E-IP Market. “However, the reason is likely because a number of young authors submitted their works this year, and there were many well-crafted thrillers among those handed in.

One of the thrillers was “The Best Life,” written by Lim Sol-a and published through Munhakdongne Publishing Group. At the heart of the story are three girls - Kang-i, So-young, Aram - who leave home under the leadership of So-young. No matter how miserable their lives become, they are persistent in refusing to return home until So-young decides to return to her parents after they agree to financially support her dream of becoming a model. When Kang-i and Aram realize that So-young used them in order to make her parents pay for modeling school, they feel betrayed, and decide to end their friendship with So-young. The story is based on the author’s experience.

Another story presented was the romantic “Festival Lady,” which revolves around a girl named Fedy. Written by Choi Youn-kyo and published by Holiday Apartment, the story draws on Fedy and the love she meets at Wooumdo Rock Festival, which she attends despite her hatred towards music to look for her music-loving mother who left home and to find out who her father is, who Fedy’s mother claims is a renowned rock star.

Even armed with interesting plots, it is not very common for publishers to be able to ink a deal with studios. Book to Film marked its fifth anniversary this year, but the number of books that have signed development contracts is no more than 10.

According to Chae, the specific figure is difficult to confirm, as there are works that are still under negotiation, but the number of books that have signed deals since the event began add up to around seven, including this year’s “Summer, A Corpse from Nowhere,” penned by Park Yeon-sun, which inked a deal with film production company, Pollux Pictures, on the event’s opening day.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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