With its seventh edition coming to a close, the Venice Book Modification Rights (BARM) market is already looking to the future. The three-day event – which takes place during the Italian Festival – is now considered the third most important annual date by publishers, says Pascal Deut, head of industry sidebar at Venice Production Bridge.
VPB’s Chiara Marin agrees: “This started out as the ‘event’ for publishers to attend.”
“Before, I would go to all these book fairs, and when I mention the Venice Film Festival, people would say, ‘What are you doing here? ‘, she laughs.
With the demand for edited stories soaring, more publishers and literary agencies were invited this year, including Taipei Publishing House, Emily Books Agency, and Grayhawk Agency. Due to popular demand, the event also decided to focus on comics and graphic novels, with the likes of Casterman, Glénat, Nathan, Tunué, Astiberri Ediciones, Dala Publishing and Frémok participating.
“Last year, when we asked people what they were looking for, they kept saying: ‘Children’s books and graphic novels.’ It’s a trend that’s still going strong,” says Marin, “Games and Laughs” by Tunué by Pera Toons, which currently tops the book list. Italian bestseller.
“Next year we will be giving it more space. We have noticed that people are really asking about it. Not only when it comes to ‘classic’ movies, but immersive content as well.”
“Villanueva” by Jaffe de Castro – described as “The Wicker Man” meets “Midsommar” – “The Last Queen” by Jean-Marc Rochette, also behind “Snowpiercer”, “The Biohardcore Civility Manual” and “Handjob Queen” was Sex workers in Taiwan are among the titles given this year.
“Irina”, a dedication to Irina Sendleroi, one of the forgotten heroes of World War II, “The Winds of Freedom”, set in medieval Sicily, and “Invisible Colors” by Sabrina Gabrielli which focuses on a girl who begins to “see the world in as sepia popped” “.
While historical narratives are going through a dry phase (“these mods tend to cost a lot, which reduces interest,” says Marin), the priority of the event is to provide certified participants with “a little bit of everything.” Which is why publishers don’t just bring one title to Venice – they bring their entire catalog.
“We want to offer a lot of scope, so we invite smaller publishing houses as well, those that specialize in genre, for example,” Deutt says.
At the moment, BARM is not expected to grow significantly. But her team is ready to try new things.
“At first, the publishers didn’t know how to talk to the producers and the producers were bored. But years later [of organizing the event]We’re starting to see the first results. Publishers are starting to understand what producers are looking for,” adds Marin.
“Now, we’ve introduced speed dating meetings between premium publishers and producers. It wasn’t the most popular initiative, but it got some people interested,” she says, and Deut already wondered about the next release.
Perhaps the focus is on fiction or children’s literature? [The latter] It’s definitely becoming more important, especially when targeting teens. These books are easy to edit. I think the reason is that it was actually written in a way that reflects the narrative of the TV series. They’re photo-ready, and they offer readers something more visual.”
Just like the hit Netflix trilogy “The Kissing Booth,” says Marin, based on a Beth Rickles story she herself posted online. However, BARM will not be open to self-published authors yet.
“These visits are few and far between. If you want quality, you still need to go to a well-known publisher. We have to be careful about what we offer, because we want producers to be happy.”
There are some success stories to prove it.
The inaugural Planeta magazine has sold the thriller “The Camp,” about young influencers stuck in the middle of nowhere, to be adapted for a UK platform series by Good Chaos. Feltrinelli sold Alex Schwarz’s “After the Finish Line” to Indigo Film and Lungta Film. Grandi & Associati granted the option of motion picture and television rights to Mario Desiati “Spatriati” to DUDE, while the Malatesta Literary Agency sold “Ballad of Mila” to Minerva and Giuseppe Catozzella “Italiana” to The Apartment.
Finally, thinking about this year’s focus, Tunué sold the rights to the sitcom “7 Crimes” to Lotus Productions. Between him Katia Centomo, Emmanuel Ciaretta, Daniel Calorie and Marco Caselli sees each volume focusing on a particular crime.
“It was a good idea – Pascal of course – to set up the co-production market in Venice at about the same time. That way, the producers were already here,” summarizes Marin.
“You could say it’s always easier to pick a project that is already in development. But when you start from scratch, from the book, it means that you really believe in the story.”