Fremantle Press CEO Jane Fraser announces film deal for debut author and welcomes newbies to the team

It’s been a hectic couple of months as we say goodbye to some and hello to others. We’ve been watching anxiously as our accounts manager, Kitty He, gets closer to her due date. We adore new bubs so we can’t wait to meet another member of the Fremantle Press extended family but will miss Kitty’s laughter and the tenacity with which she keeps a team of creatives on track with their numbers. Thanks and welcome to Leanne Freeman who will be keeping the seat warm for Kitty while she enjoys her maternity leave.

We’re also pleased to welcome Kirsty Horton to the team in a permanent role as editor through the Minderoo Editorship program. Kirsty brings a fresh perspective, a bookstack that represents a range of genres and a side hustle as a student and booktuber. Welcome Kirsty! We have also appointed a new senior editor to take over from Armelle Davies, who left in August and will be much missed. We will introduce her next month when she joins us in the office.

As always we send our commiserations to the authors, artists, festival programmers, publishers and booksellers affected by the latest run of lockdowns. Here’s a way we can all help.

The Australian Booksellers Association’s Love your Bookshop Day is approaching fast, so why not show your appreciation for them on Friday 8 October? The ABA is encouraging Australians to send a care package of books to a loved one. By ordering from the booksellers who haven’t been able to open their stores during extended lockdowns, you’ll be helping them through a tough time. Plus I’m sure your delighted recipient will be buoyed by the knowledge that you’re thinking of them.

The gulf between experiences in the East and West was highlighted during the Melbourne International Film Festival program this year. Normally I would catch the red-eye and turn up gritty-eyed and cloaked to the max for a day at the ice-cold Forum Theatre in Melbourne pitching to film producers, screenwriters and distributors. But when COVID-19 intervened, I instead found myself zooming my way through 13 back-to-back appointments. No doubt people from all over Australia were doing the same.

From that event, we are delighted to announce that we have secured our first deal: Renelle Richards and Mark Forytarz from Spark Plug Films love the book The River Mouth by Karen Herbert and have optioned the film and television rights. The River Mouth is a debut crime novel available in October and this is a wonderful start to Karen’s career.

Till next time, Jane

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