TFL Adapt Lab: adapting books… and adopting books
by Vittoria Scarpa
- The TorinoFilmLab books adaptation project this year goes from 8 to 12 projects
A script based on a book usually guarantees a solid story, clearly-defined characters and a richness of detail. The 12 rich projects screened at the third edition of Adapt Lab, the books adaptation lab, are no exception. Adapt Lab is an integral part of the TorinoFilmLab, the 7th Meeting Event of which is underway (24-26 November, during the Turin Film Festival). The newest project created as part of the TFL, reserved for screenwriters and screenwriters/directors, confirms that it works: two projects from 2012 are currently being developed, one of which was selected at the Jerusalem Film Lab; two titles from the 2013 edition are being negotiated, while another two have become part of the TFL Audience Design project.
This year the programme has increased from 8 to 12 selected projects, the books selected come from 7 countries worldwide, while 9 nationalities are represented by the screenwriters working on stories created by others with just as much passion and who, as Isabelle Fauvel (head of studies, tutor and partner of the Torino Film Lab for the Adapt Film Lab, which she cofounded) said, “don’t just adapt the books: they adopt them”, pending potential financers and directors. Among them, Swedish Cecilia Björk, who, with her screenplay The Combover adapted the original novel “Il riporto” by Italian-speaking Argentinean writer Adrian N. Bravi, it’s the surreal story of a university professor who is obsessed with his (little) hair, which will gain magic powers; Swiss Luc Walpoth, who in The Transplanted (from the book “Fegato e cuore” (lit. Liver and heart) by Alessandro Marchi) asks himself how a racist hooligan can live with a transplanted heart that once belonged to a black boy; Italian Paolo Borraccetti, who for his adaptation of “Savana Padana” by Matteo Righetto coined the term polenta western, for an irreverent gangster comedy by the same title set in Northern Italy (in Padua) and which revolves around the statue of the much revered Saint Anthony.
There’s also room for psychological drama in a sci-fi sauce with the project Elective Affinities (based on the eponymous novel by Johan Wolfgang von Goethe) by Polish Kas Zawadowics, in which a couple who live content on a spaceship in space are turned upside down by the arrival of a young woman and by the mystery of attraction between two human beings: a film somewhere between Closer and Blade Runner, in the words of the screenwriter. (Toxic) love is also dealt with in Toxaemia (based on “Toksymia” by Malgorzata Rejmer) screened by her fellow countrywoman Julia Kolberger, it’s about the strange relationship between a young female student and an 87-year-old man. Finally, a nod to a project, by English Mike Forshaw, not based on a book, but based on a true story: Walk On, about the most dramatic event in British sporting history, the Hillsborough disaster (1989), which focuses on a woman in search of the truth about her son’s death.
To browse the other projects by Adapt Lab click here. The next deadline for applications to the project, supported by Creative Europe and the Netherlands Film Fund and carried out in collaboration with the Locarno Film Festival – Image and words, is set at 5 January 2015.
(Translated from Italian)