The Garden Cinema, London

International Booker Prize announces new collaboration with MUBI, Foyles and The Garden Cinema

The Booker Prizes has teamed up with MUBI, Foyles and The Garden Cinema in London, where six international films have been matched to this year’s shortlisted books

The collaboration culminates in a special screening featuring a Q&A with the winners on May 26

Publication date and time: Published

Today, May 16 2023, the International Booker Prize, the world’s most significant award for a single work of fiction translated into English, is teaming up with the global film distributor and streaming service MUBI, award-winning bookseller Foyles and London’s The Garden Cinema in a new collaboration. 

The International Booker Prize, which will be awarded on May 23, is given annually to a novel or short story collection originally written in any language, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. It celebrates the best fiction in translation, helping bring fresh voices and experiences from other cultures to the widest possible audience.  

The perception of translated fiction – like the perception of foreign-language films – is changing, with both moving towards the centre of the cultural conversation. In the UK, new research compiled for the Booker Prize Foundation shows that the audience for fiction in translation is getting younger, with around half of all translated fiction titles now bought by people under the age of 35. As Fiammetta Rocco, administrator of the International Booker Prize, said recently: ‘This is part of a far wider cultural trend in which more and more films, TV series and music originating in languages other than English have become part of the global mainstream. Young people are curious, adventurous and engaged – and have a very porous sense of national borders.’   

She adds: ‘There is a natural and under-exploited union between international fiction and international film, and between the readers and viewers of both. We want to encourage people who love translated fiction to explore more global cinema, and vice versa, expanding their cultural horizons.’    

MUBI, the global streaming service, production company and film distributor dedicated to elevating great cinema, has curated a selection of six films from around the world to complement each International Booker Prize 2023 shortlisted book. The curated films reflect the themes or tone of the accompanying book. 

International Booker Prize 2023 shortlisted books

The six books on the shortlist and their corresponding films, curated by MUBI, are...

Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated from Catalan by Julia Sanches 

  • EMA directed by Pablo Larraín (Chile, 2019)  

MUBI says: ‘Pablo Larraín returns with a dazzling, intoxicating look at sex, power, family and chaos in modern-day Chile. With an electrifying score by Nicolas Jaar, Ema is a whirlwind of no-holds-barred anarchy, anchored by searing turns from rising star Mariana Di Girolamo and Gael García Bernal.’ 

Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim  

MUBI says: ‘Three volumes, three unidentified filmic objects of uncommon beauty, and three instant classics of contemporary cinema. Miguel Gomes’ outstanding masterpiece takes over. A vision of modern Portugal told with the inspiration of the timeless folk tales of Arabian Nights.’ 

The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated from French by Richard Philcox

  • Petite Maman directed by Céline Sciamma (France, 2021)  

MUBI says: ‘Following the international triumph of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma returns to the mysteries of childhood with this spellbinding adventure in imagination. Delicately playful, and tinged with melancholy, Petite Maman weaves a spectral fairy-tale from a child’s-eye view on love and loss.’ 

Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated from French by Frank Wynne 

  • Limbo, directed by by Ben Sharrock (United Kingdom, 2020)   

MUBI says: ‘Announcing the arrival of a major homegrown talent in filmmaker Ben Sharrock, Limbo is a deadpan delight bursting with humanity. Illuminating the hopes and hardships of the refugee experience, this wry, poignant, and bracingly funny ode to the kindness of strangers is the British film of the year.’ 

Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel  

MUBI says: ‘As sensual as the first rays of summer, Mia Hansen-Løve’s latest triumph journeys through the threshold of love and loss with exquisite tenderness. Delivering a career-best performance that aches with vulnerability and strength, Léa Seydoux stuns in this profound portrayal of contemporary womanhood.’ 

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey 

  • Lamb, directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson (Iceland, Sweden, 2021)   

MUBI says: ‘Precision-timed in revealing its uncanny mysteries, it’s little wonder that Valdimar Jóhannsson’s nightmarishly eerie debut took the Prize of Originality at Cannes. Led by a magnificent Noomi Rapace, this genre-defying fable stages a cloven reckoning with the psychological landscapes of motherhood.’ 

MUBI films and International Booker shortlist teaser 2

Special winner event and competition

On Friday, May 26 at 8pm, The Garden Cinema, a new independent cinema in the heart of London, will host a special event: an intimate Q&A featuring the winners of the International Booker Prize 2023, chaired by writer and editor Sarah Shaffi. The Q&A will be followed by a screening of the film that MUBI has paired with the winning book. 

Tickets to the event are available to buy here.

To celebrate the collaboration, the partners have launched a competition with the following prizes on offer: 

UK-based entrants: 

  • A signed set of the shortlisted books 

  • Lifetime membership to The Garden Cinema 

  • One year’s subscription to MUBI 

  • A MUBI tote bag and Booker Prizes tote bag 

  • £50 eGift card from Foyles 

International entrants: 

  • A signed set of the shortlisted books 

  • One year’s subscription to MUBI 

  • A MUBI tote bag and a Booker Prizes tote bag 

  • £50 eGift card from Foyles  

Details of the competition can be found here.

The Garden Cinema, London

The International Booker Prize short films

The Booker Prizes has, for the second time, commissioned Sharon Horgan’s production company Mermade to produce a series of short films featuring six of the UK and Ireland’s best known actors reading extracts from the books on the International Booker Prize 2023 shortlist. The films produced by Mermade for the Booker Prize 2022 were viewed over a million times on the Booker Prizes’ social media accounts and are nominated in the Drum Awards for Marketing 2023.    

The new films, which will be published on the Booker Prizes website and YouTube channel, as well as being shown at the winner ceremony, are directed by Hannah Berry George. The performers in the new films are: Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton) reading The Gospel According to the New World, Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) reading Still Born, Michelle de Swarte (The Duchess) reading Boulder, Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) reading Time Shelter,  Aisling Bea (This Way Up) reading Whale, and Osy Ikhile (Citadel) reading Standing Heavy.

Mermade actor films slice