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Feminist Fantasy Novel ‘Maresi’ Being Developed Into Movie

Variety logo Variety 11/22/2016 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

London-based Film4 has optioned film rights to Finnish author Maria Turtschaninoff’s fantasy novel “Maresi.”

“Maresi,” the first part in “Red Abbey Chronicles,” was originally published in Finland in 2014 by Schildts & Söderströms, and awarded the Finlandia Junior Prize in the same year. Publishing rights have been sold to 17 territories with Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, set to publish the U.S. edition in January 2017.

Amulet Books will publish “Naondel,” the second book in “Red Abbey Chronicles,” in January 2018.

Film4 developed and co-financed Oscar best picture winners “12 Years a Slave” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Its recent production credits include “American Honey,” “Ex Machina,” and “The Lobster.”

“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,” Turtschaninoff said.

“Maresi” is set in the Red Abbey, a refuge for women and girls. The abbey comes under attack after a girl who saw her sister killed seeks refuge. The 13-year-old titular character Maresi is forced to fight to defend both herself and the community.

The deal was brokered by Turtschaninoff’s agent Elina Ahlbäck of the eponymous Elina Ahlback Literary Agency in collaboration with Gudrun Giddings.

“Finlandia award-winner Maria Turtschaninoff’s feminist fantasy saga will empower girls and women all over the world,” Ahlback said.

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