WHO IS THIS IDIOT NED VIZZINI?

[hear the deal from the esteemed John Strausbaugh]












 

 
Film and Television Rights to Teen Angst

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Film and Television Rights to Teen Angst? Naaah . . . Bought by Company Producing Tuck Everlasting

Free Spirits confidence in Brooklyn teens wry look at life pays off.

Minneapolis, MinnesotaWhen Free Spirit founder and president Judy Galbraith read an essay in the New York Times by a 17-year-old offering scattershot advice to teens, she picked up the phone and started dialingafter she stopped laughing. Three years later, Teen Angst? Naaah . . . a "quasi" autobiographical collection of stories about one boys urban life is on store shelves and Brooklyn teen Ned Vizzini has found himself a favorite of tweens and teensas well as a smattering of twenty-somethings and older adults. A Booksense 76er with over 15,000 copies in print since its release in September 2000, and a back-to-press third printing scheduled for this fall, Teen Angst?s success has now begun a new chapter. Free Spirit Publishing recently sold the books film and television development rights to Jane Startz Productions, Inc. (New York City), who will produce the project under its first-look deal with Miramax Films.

"Neds stories resonate with teens, who obviously relate with the quirky experiences of a regular kid trying to balance being smart with being cool," said Galbraith. In fact, one of the books many teen fans brought it to the attention of her mother, producer Jane Startz, who read the book and promptly called Galbraith. "Three things were obvious in my discussions with Jane: she loves books, she respects teens, and she knows how to make good things happen," said Galbraith.

Certainly, the New York-based Jane Startz Productions is no stranger to the world of kid and teen lit. Creator and executive producer of the Emmy Awardwinning television series "The Magic School Bus," Startz was cofounder and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Productions, the film and television division of Scholastic Inc. Under her direction, Scholastic Productions produced feature films (The Indian in the Cupboard and The Baby-Sitters Club ) and television series ("The Baby-Sitters Club" and "Charles in Charge"), as well as many TV dramas including "The Great Love Experiment," an Emmy-winning after-school special.

Startz launched her own company in 1997, producing the critically hailed The Mighty (based on the book Freak the Mighty) for Miramax. The film, starring Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson, and Gena Rowlands, was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. The production companys current feature film project, Tuck Everlasting, is now in post-production. Other book-based projects in the works are Ella Enchanted, The Pushcart War , and a series of films based on the work of Judy Blume.

Says Startz, "The mission of my company is to bring contemporary childrens and young adult classics to film and television audiences. Teen Angst? Naaah . . . qualifies on all counts. It is a very honest, heartfelt, and funny book with universal appeal and a highly original voice that resonates with readers of all ages."

Galbraith concluded, "When you look at the roster of works Jane Startz has in production or in development, its clear that she has a strong and discerning eye for quality. We couldnt have found a better home for Teen Angst? and Ned Vizzini."

About Free Spirit Publishing

Founded in 1983, Free Spirit Publishing is the Minneapolis-based, independent publisher of acclaimed Self-Help for Kids and Self-Help for Teens materials including What Kids Need to Succeed, How Rude!, The Gifted Kids Survival Guide, What Do You Stand For?, and more. Free Spirit books have been honored by the American Library Association, The Parenting Center, Dr. Toy, Parents Choice, and Parent Council, and are available wherever books are sold or directly through Free Spirit Publishing (1-800-735-7323, www.freespirit.com ).

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