The Book Pitch project was launched in 2020 by the International Book Arsenal Festival and the Odessa International Film Festival. It aims to find modern Ukrainian books that have the potential to be adapted as feature films. The winners receive prizes from Book Arsenal and OIFF, as well as get the opportunity to present their works before the best Ukrainian producers and directors.
The novels Behind the Back by Haska Shyyan and Daughter by Tamara Horikha Zernia became the winners of the competition. In total, more than 80 applications were received from publishers and authors, and the expert jury, which included screenwriters and directors, as well as literary critics, selected 8 finalists who presented their works within the Film Industry Office section of the Odessa International Film Festival.
As a major interdisciplinary festival, Book Arsenal has repeatedly included cinema component in its program and talked about the connection between cinema and literature. So, when Julia Sinkevych from the Odessa Film Festival approached us and suggested the book pitch format, we immediately agreed. It was important for us to closely acquaint the literary and film communities with each other, to show producers and directors that we have worthy modern novels that can become popular adaptations, and to encourage writers and publishers to work with the film industry. As a result, we have got a good start to the annual competition, and since the festival was canceled in 2020, the Book Pitch became one of the few projects conducted online
says Tania Rodionova, project coordinator.
In 2021, the competition is held for the second time. Fiction books published in 2019-2021, with an edition of at least 1000 copies, which have the potential to be adapted as feature films, are allowed to participate. A preference will be given to the works which have been presented at international festivals and book fairs and which have won awards and prizes. Applications are accepted from authors, publishers and literary agents.
The focus of the 12th OIFF is the cultural DNA of Ukrainians, and literature and cinema are important components of it. The combination of these two layers gives a powerful impetus to the development of the entire national culture. Last year, during the first Book Pitch competition, the film community got acquainted with strong and high-quality novels that deserve to be adapted as films and become even better known to a wide range of viewers and readers. Our project is not only an opportunity to convey your work to readers and potential viewers, but also the search for innovative ideas and non-standard approaches in collaboration with authors from different fields of art
says Anna Machukh, executive director of the Odessa International Film Festival.
Tania Rodionova, Book Arsenal
Tetiana Vlasova, Odessa International Film Festival