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Glisk secures exclusive deal with acclaimed writer Ivar Leon Menger

New production company to develop scripted adaptations of acclaimed audio series and debut novel

Collogne, May 4th, 2022

Creatively-led production and talent management company GLISK, a Federation Entertainment affiliated company, has secured an exclusive deal with Ivar Leon Menger, a leading German author of suspense and mystery fiction.

The agreement will see GLISK collaborate with Ivar Leon Menger and his team on an initial three projects: two hugely successful audiobook series Ghostbox and Monster 1983, which are being adapted as TV series, and the highly anticipated debut novel When the Strangers Came, which is currently being developed and adapted for the screen.

Ivar Leon Menger is an award-winning writer, and his radio play series, Monster 1983 and Ghostbox, are among the most successful productions on Audible. He has received over 30 awards, including “Best Short Film” at the Lost High-Tapes Award during the Berlinale, a Golden Record (for Die Drei Fragezeichen und der dreiTag) and “Best Radio Play 2019” (1st place Audience Award for Ghostbox). When the Strangers Came is his debut novel which recently sold in a 10-way auction, with a six-figure two-book deal for publication in August 2022.

Ivar Leon Menger says: « I never expected my debut novel to take off like this before the publication date; there are already first foreign licenses – and now a deal to adapt it for the screen. I want to thank my agent Marc Koralnik of Liepman, who represents the novel worldwide, and Julie and Philipp of GLISK, who are equally passionate about adapting my novel and audiobooks. I am thrilled to have found such internationally experienced and networked producers to develop my work. I am convinced that this will start a comprehensive, long-term, and successful partnership. »

Julie Link and Philipp Steffens of GLISK, says: “We believe in shining a light on talent and investing in long-term relationships with creatives, so we’re thrilled a writer of such critical acclaim has entrusted us with developing and creating scripted adaptations of his renownedaudiobooks as well as his yet-to-be-released new novel. 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 with Ivar as we have big plans to build his brand.”

Ghostbox is a mystery trilogy that tells the story of a young Berlin journalist Lena Gruenwald, who wants to solve her brother‘s mysterious suicide. It’s a complex and skillfully mastered crime thriller series with a touch of science fiction. The original ten-hour audiobook trilogy has been in first place among the best-selling audiobooks and radio plays on Audible since its release. Listeners claim it has the rich and dynamic mystery feel of Matrix and Inception.

Monster 1983 is a three-season mystery thriller audio drama series co-written by Ivar Leon Menger with Anette Strohmeyer and Audible released. Strange things happen in the small coastal town of Harmony Bay, Oregon, in the summer of 1983: a series of mysterious deaths; a prisoner transport crashes into a cliff, and a Russian spy disappears without a trace. The new Sheriff Cody and his team have their hands full because everything indicates that a serial killer is on the loose. The first season of Monster 1983 was also produced in English for the US and English markets.

Ivan Leon Menger’s debut novel When the Strangers Came is launching in August this year and will be available in multiple languages. Set deep in the forests of Northland, in a lakeside cabin, on a small island, with the mainland barely visible in the distance, fifteen-year-old Juno has lived in almost complete isolation since early childhood. She only has her parents and her little brother Boy for company. There is a familiar rhythm to their island days – fishing, baking, playing – but they live in constant fear of ‘Strangers’ who want to take revenge on their father for testifying against one of them many years ago.

Marc Koralnik (Liepman AG Literary Agency) adds: « When I first read Ivar’s novel manuscript, it was one of those rare moments in an agent’s life when the spark is instantaneous, and you immediately realize that this book will be a bestseller and made into a film. It’s a versatile material with international appeal crying out for a streaming adaptation. Ivar is the rising star in the German-language thriller field. He knows the craft and develops successful suspense stories, whether for a novel, fiction podcast, or film. In fact, we had every major German publisher bidding for the novel, and several film offers came in immediately. We are convinced that we have the right partner for the novel. We have exactly the same feeling with Julie Link and Philipp Steffens, who share our vision for the author.”

The deal was handled by Sebastian Möllmann of Möllmann Bießmann Rechtsanwälte and Marc Koralnik of Liepman AG Literary Agency, as well Matthias Braun of Studio Legal.

For further information, please contact DDA:
Janet Balmforth Tel: + 44 (0) 7748 185656 or email janet.balmforth@ddapr.com

Notes to editors:

About GLISK:
Headed by Philipp Steffens and Julie Link, GLISK is a multifaceted company producing scripted and unscripted formats for the German domestic marketplace alongside international multi-genre co-productions with global appeal and focusing on bringing German content and brands to an international audience. The company will also act as a talent management company for established
and rising stars, including actors, writers, and directors. The two principals and co-founders at GLISK each have a renowned track record in both fiction and non-fiction in Germany and internationally.

Philipp Steffens is an award-winning fiction producer with extensive experience at major European broadcasters and production companies. He co-created and produced the critically acclaimed mini-series The Valley for TNT Germany, as well as the hit German TV series The Last Cop (Der Letzte Bulle in German), which won both a German Television Award and Jupiter Award for “Best Series.” The format sold worldwide, and the Spanish version received an International Emmy Award in 2019. Steffens also produced Flying Home, a film starring Jamie Dornan and directed by Academy Award-nominee Dominic Deruddere. In 2014, he became Head of Fiction at RTL Television and was responsible for all drama and comedy productions, including the international hit series Deutschland ‘83.

Julie Link is a producer and creative executive with over 20 years experience at major studios in the US and Europe. Most recently, she was Managing Director at Splendid Studios, where she produced the theatrical success Misfit. Holding senior positions as International Consultant for Critical Content and EVP Development at Relativity Television, she developed brand-defining content, including international hit Catfish: The TV Show and Emmy-winning format, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, both of which are still airing in the US with the formats selling worldwide.

About Federation Entertainment:
Led by Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan, Federation heralds a new breed of independent European studios, focusing on the creation, production, financing and distribution of high-quality original
productions for the global marketplace.  Federation Entertainment works with the best worldwide talents and partners in the industry to create a strong distribution portfolio as well as an array of
premium international productions.  Only eight years after its creation, the production and distribution studio based in Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Madrid, London, Berlin, Cologne and Tel-Aviv boasts 210 full time employees, a number which continues to grow monthly.

Active in the drama, kids & family, documentary and light entertainment space, Federation works with all platforms and major broadcasters in the market. Its rich portfolio includes major award-winning and international successes such as the cult spy series The Bureau (50 X 52’), the financial thriller Bad Banks (12 x 52’; the Netflix original hit series Baby (now 3 seasons); Find Me In Paris (78 X 26′), the premium live action hit for tweens; Partisan, (12 X 52’), Best series award at CanneSeries 2020; In Treatment (70 x 26’), the adaptation of cult format BeTipul by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache for ARTE; Around the World in 80 Days starring David Tennant, produced for the European Alliance (France Televisions, ZDF, Rai), BBC and PBS Masterpiece; The Lesson, Best series & Best performance awards at CanneSeries 2022; as well as Varane, Destin de Champion (Amazon Prime-Video), to name a few.

About Liepman Literary Agency:
The Liepman Literary Agency, founded in 1949, represents foreign publishers and agents for German language publication rights as well as international authors and literary estates for world rights. The list of representations includes distinguished names such as Dror Mishani, Péter Nádas, Madame Nielsen, A. B. Yehoshua, Charles Lewinsky, Peter Stamm, Elias Canetti, Anne Frank, Erich Fromm or Ryszard Kapuscinski among many others.

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