EXCLUSIVE: Fledgling Federation Entertainment-backed German label Glisk has struck its first major talent deal, signing German author Ivar Leon Menger and setting its first three projects, Deadline can reveal.
Glisk will create TV versions of two of Menger’s audiobooks – Ghostbox and Monster 1983 – along with a film adaptation of debut novel When The Strangers Came, which recently sold as a six-figure two-book deal in a 10-way auction and will be published later this year in multiple languages.
The novel is set in the deep forests of Northland in a lakeside cabin on a small island, where 15-year-old Juno has lived in complete isolation with her family since early childhood, living in constant fear of ‘Strangers’ who want to take revenge on her father for testifying against one of them many years ago.
Meanwhile, Ghostbox is a mystery trilogy that tells the story of Lena Gruenwald, a young Berlin journalist who wants to solve her brother’s mysterious suicide, and Monster 1983 spotlights a series of mysterious deaths in Oregon in the mid-1980s after a Russian spy disappears without a trace.
The trio’s creator, Menger, is an award-winning suspense writer who has seen Ghostbox and Monster 1983 dominate the Audible charts in Germany. He has received more than 30 awards including Best Short Film at the Berlinale’s Lost High-Tapes Awards.
“Shining A Light On Talent”
His signing speaks to the ambition of Glisk founders Philipp Steffens and Julie Link, the veteran execs who launched the Around the World in 80 Days producer Federation-backed shingle last year to focus on the creation, production, financing and distribution of high quality originals via a stable of independent studios.
Steffens most recently created and produced TNT Germany’s The Valley and Link has held senior positions at Critical Content, Relativity Television and Splendid Studios.
The pair said they have “big plans” to build Menger’s brand.
“We believe in shining a light on talent and investing in long-term relationships with creatives,” they added. “One of our aims as a company is to take German concepts and talent to a global audience, so we hope this is just the beginning of an ongoing collaboration.”
Menger said he is “thrilled to have found such internationally experienced and networked producers” to develop his work.
Glisk owner Federation has expanded at rapid pace over the past year and Germany was the last major European nation in which it didn’t have a presence.
In the past 12 months, Lionel Uzan and Pascal Breton’s outfit has partnered with U.S. studio Anonymous Content to launch a joint venture in France, taken a majority stake in French independent studio Robin & Co, opened in the U.S. via management and production company Animal Federation and set up a UK operation helmed by two former eOne execs.
The Glisk / Menger deal was handled by Sebastian Möllmann of Möllmann Bießmann Rechtsanwälte and Marc Koralnik of Liepman AG Literary Agency, as well as Matthias Braun of Studio Legal.