Finnish Fantasy Saga ‘Maresi’s’ Film Rights Optioned By Film4
NEW YORK, NY — Feature film rights to Maria Turtschaninoff’s internationally acclaimed fantasy novel Maresi have been optioned by Film4. Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, will publish the US edition of Maresi in January 2017. Maresi, the first part in The Red Abbey Chronicles, was originally published in Finland in 2014 by Schildts & Söderströms, and awarded the prestigious Finlandia Junior Prize in the same year. Publishing rights to the novel have sold in 17 territories to date, to excellent press and reviews internationally.
UK-based Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, including Academy Award -winners such as 12 Years a Slave and Slumdog Millionaire. The deal was brokered by Turtschaninoff’s agent Elina Ahlbäck of the eponymous Elina Ahlback Literary Agency in collaboration with Gudrun Giddings.
“I cannot say that this is a dream come true for me – it exceeds all my dreams. I am so happy that Maresi is in such good hands with Film4,” says Turtschaninoff.
Maresi is a tale of friendship and survival, set in the Red Abbey, a refuge for women and girls. When the abbey is attacked, the titular character Maresi has to fight to defend both herself and the community. The novel is a historically inspired fantasy saga, aimed for young adult and adult audiences, about friendship and community of women in a male-dominated world. According to The Observer, Maresi “combines a flavor of The Handmaid’s Tale with bursts of excitement reminiscent of Harry Potter’s magic duels.”
“It takes an author of the caliber of fantasy greats like Le Guin and Pullman to create a world as beautifully and terrifyingly real as the one Maria has conceived in the Red Abbey Chronicles,” said Susan Van Metre, editor-in-chief, ABRAMS. “We want to live in it—and save it alongside our sister Maresi.”
Quoting Turtschaninoff’s agent Elina Ahlbäck, “Finlandia award-winner Maria Turtschaninoff’s feminist fantasy saga will empower girls and women all over the world.”
Amulet Books will publish Naondel, the second book in the Red Abbey Chronicles, in January 2018.