The Barcelona-based literary agency and production company sells rights to Maria Angels Anglada’s A Violin In Auschwiz.

Pontas Agency has sold the film rights to Catalan author Maria Angels Anglada’s A Violin In Auschwitz to US producer Sharon Von Wietersheim.

The book tells the story of a Auschwitz prisoner who is forced to make a violin by a strict deadline as part of a bet. The novel has already sold more than 100,000 copies in Catalan and is due to be released in English through Random House/Bantam Dell later this year under the title The Violin Maker of Auschwitz.

Von Wietersheim, from Germany’s Rich And Famous Overnight Film produktions, plans to produce the film following a similar path to Roman Polanski’s The Pianist. She is seeking European backing and is expected to work with a French co-production partner. It will be shot in English and is expected to feature Hollywood stars in the lead roles.

Von Wietersheim is currently writing the script and plans to shoot the film next year.

Meanwhile, Pontas, which also produces films, is currently working on a project called Mornings In Jenin, based on the novel by Susan Abulhawa.

Set in the 1940s, it tells the story of a Palestinian couple whose youngest son is kidnapped by a childless Israeli couple. The boy’s name is changed from Ismail to David and he is raised to hate Arabs.

Anna Soler-Pont (pictured), founder and head of Pontas, said the project had already attracted interest from co-producers and investors, including from Abu Dhabi.The company is currently looking for a scriptwriter and director for this film, which it is pitching as a cross between Out Of Africa and Paradise Now.