Founded in 1992 by Anna Soler-Pont, Pontas is a literary and film agency internationally representing a wide range of authors from all over the world. This is a chronology of the highlights of all these years.
The sudden loss of dear client Domingo Villar marked the year 2022 in many ways and the best homage will be to keep working for his literary legacy to be read, translated and adapted for the screen. The Pontas Agency celebrated its 30th anniversary and its founder and director, Anna Soler-Pont, won the International Excellence Award for “Best Rights Professional” at the 2022 London Book Fair. Martí Gironell was awarded the 2022 Prudenci Bertrana Award for his novel El fabricant de records.
Musih Tedji Xaviere and Bhavika Govil were the joint winners of the 2021 Pontas & JJ Bola Emerging Writers Prize (a new mentoring award for unagented, unpublished, under-represented writers from Black, ethnic minority, LGBTQ+, and working-class backgrounds writing in English). Among several film & TV rights sold, Heyday Films (Harry Potter’s producers within NBCUniversal Studios) acquired Dolores Redondo's The North Face of the Heart to develop a TV series; and Propagate Content, with Deepa Mehta attached as writer-director, acquired Avni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar to develop a feature film. The film adapting Eka Kurniawan’s novel Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash was the winner of the Grand Prize for Best Film at the Locarno Film Festival 2021. Carolina Martínez and Clara Rosell joined the Pontas team.
Avni Doshi’s debut novel Burnt Sugar was shortlisted to The 2020 Booker Prize. The three films adapting the Trilogy of Baztan by Dolores Redondo were launched in Netflix worldwide with great audience success. Among other changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, Pontas stopped having an office, left the flat on Barcelona’s Sèneca Street and began a new journey “in the cloud”, with the entire team working remotely. Emilia Guzmán and Carla Briner joined the Pontas team.
Forrest Gander was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his poetry collection Be with; Rafel Nadal received the Ramon Llull Award for his novel El fill de l´italià (The Italian Son). The film adaptation of The Legacy of the Bones by Dolores Redondo is launched theatrically while her new novel, La cara norte del corazón (The North Face of the Heart), tops the bestselling lists. Nick Owen and Cristina Verrienti join the Pontas team.
Eka Kurniawan was the winner of the Prince Claus Award for his literary work at a ceremony in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam; Martí Gironell received the Ramon Llull Award for his novel La força d´un destí (Stars in His Eyes), to be become the first novel ever translated from Catalan into English by Amazon Crossing. Madeleine Feeny and Ellie Laing join the Pontas team.
This marked an important milestone in the Pontas Agency’s history with the celebration of the 25th anniversary with most of the authors represented getting together in Barcelona. Pontas was nominated (for the third time in a row) for the Excellence Award of the London Book Fair 2017 as Best International Literary Agency. Among others, Eka Kurniawan and Renato Cisneros were shortlisted to the French Prix Médicis and Sara Lövestam won the French Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2017.
Dolores Redondo was the winner of the Planeta Prize for her novel Todo esto te daré (All This I Will Give You); Fiston Mwanza Mujila was the first Francophone African writer to ever win the Etisalat Prize for Literature, with Tram 83; and Eka Kurniawan won the Financial Times Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Prize. Pontas was nominated (for the second time) for the Excellence Award of the London Book Fair 2016 as Best International Literary Agency.
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. Anna Soler-Pont is awarded the “Creu de Sant Jordi” (Saint George’s Cross) 2015, one of the highest civil distinctions awarded by the Government of Catalonia; and nominated for the Excellence Award of the London Book Fair 2015 as Best International Literary Agent.
This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets became the hot book at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2014, making it to the front cover of Publishers Weekly, with 30 international rights deals. Maria Cardona joins Pontas as agent. Soon after, Guenny Rodewald also joins Pontas as Contracts Manager. In September, Jessica Craig moves to Barcelona to join Pontas as an agent.
The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo, becomes a bestseller in Spain (over 100,000 copies sold the first five months of 2013). Marina Penalva Halpin joins Pontas again as agent after having been working at the publishing house Ara Llibres. Marina had already been part of the Pontas team for seven years (from 2000-2007).
Publication of book number 1,000 negotiated through Pontas: one thousand titles in twenty years. Jonas Jonasson’s first novel, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, becomes an international bestseller. It sells over one million copies in German language in one year and remains on bestseller lists in several countries. The shooting of the film adaptation of the novel starts in Sweden.
The Last Snow (La nevada del cucut) by Blanca Busquets is awarded with the Catalan Booksellers Prize 2011. Dolores Redondo becomes a Pontas client and her manuscript The Invisible Guardian, first title of the “Trilogy of Baztan”, is one of the most wanted books at Frankfurt Book Fair, being auctioned or purchased in pre-empt in seven languages. Completion of the shooting of the TV miniseries The Memory of Wateradapting the novel by Teresa Viejo for Televisión Española-TVE. Patricia Sanchez begins her collaboration with Pontas.
Ricard Domingo joins Pontas again as a partner and administrator after directing Barcelona Televisió-BTV for four years. Marc de Gouvenain is awarded by the King of Sweden as Knight First Class of the Order of the Polar Star. Pontas is present at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair and at the American Film Market in Los Angeles for the first time.
Former French editor and translator Marc de Gouvenain joins Pontas as a partner and the company decides to enter actively, with his collaboration, in Scandinavia and France. The Hollywood producer and filmmaker Michael Mann acquires the film adaptation rights of the novel by Susana Fortes Waiting for Robert Capa. Carina Brandt (Swedish based in Barcelona) and Rosa Rubio begin their collaboration with Pontas.
Pontas moves its office to number 31 of Sèneca Street in Barcelona. Palestinian-American author Susan Abulhawa becomes a Pontas client and her novel Mornings in Jenin is published with great success in more than twenty languages. The Violin of Auschwitz by Maria-Àngels Anglada, one of the most important Catalan authors (dead in 1999) will also become an international success. Anna Ascolies and Joachim De Nys begin their collaboration with Pontas
Anna Soler-Pont devotes all year to her position as Commissioner of Catalan Culture program as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2007.
In May, Anna Soler-Pont is appointed Commissioner of the Catalan Culture program as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2007 by the Catalan government. Marina Penalva-Halpin is in charge of the agency until the end of 2007. Premiere of Salvador, the film adapting the book by Francesc Escribano, whose rights were negotiatied by Pontas to bring to the big screen the last days of Salvador Puig Antich, the last victim of the death penalty in Spain in 1974.
Pontas coordinates the international conference “The future of the publishing industries” organized by the City of Barcelona, which takes place in November with the participation, among others, of managers of large publishing groups from around world, American literary agent Andrew Wylie, representatives from Google and Publishers Market, journalists responsible for television programs and literary supplements, etc.. Pontas participates in the Göteborg Book Fair for the first time.
Ricard Domingo leaves Pontas temporarily to direct Barcelona Televisió_BTV, the local tv station in the city. Susana Fortes is awarded as finalist of the Premio Planeta, the most important literary award given by a Spanish publishing house. The team travels, as usual, to several cities, such as New York, for meetings with publishers and film producers. Martina Torrades starts her collaboration with Pontas.
The Daughter of the Ganges by Asha Miró becomes the best-selling book of Book Day, April 23rd, in Catalan, and a media phenomenon starts, with the book being translated into more than 20 languages. The production of the cartoon seriesAsha begins, co-produced by Cromosoma and Pontas after an original idea by Anna Soler-Pont (it will be broadcasted for the first time in 2009); in June the documentary film Asha, the daughter of the Ganges in shot in India (directed by Jordi Llompart and co-produced by Pontas). Pontas moves to number 18 of Sèneca Street in Barcelona. Pontas participates at the Cannes Film Market of the Cannes Film Festival for the first time.
After a long relationship with the Planeta Group, Ricard Domingo joins Pontas as a partner. Pontas participates in the International Forum Cinema & Literature of Monaco and at the European Film Market at the Berlinale in Berlin for the first time. The newspaper Le Monde publishes an article by Florence Noiville about the new European literary agencies with a special piece about Pontas. Pontas is registered as a film production company. Bernat Fiol begins his collaboration with Pontas.
Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer becomes a Pontas client and all his literary works are relaunched, as well new translations in several languages. His name appears on the lists of candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Pontas attends the London Book Fair for the first time. Marina Penalva-Halpin begins her collaboration with Pontas.
The Hollywood studio Castle Rock (Warner Bros) acquires the film rights to an original story by actor Russell Crowe and Alan Duff, a Pontas client, as well as the rights of the screenplay adapting such story written by Alan Duff. Pontas moves to number 24 of Travessera de Gràcia in Barcelona, sharing office with Antonia Kerrigan’s literary agency. Henriette Schimanski begins her collaboration with Pontas.
Pontas collaborates with artist Alfredo Jaar and BildMuseet of Umea (Sweden) in the edition of Emergency exhibition catalog, a unique anthology of eighteen authors from Africa. The Pontas logo is created from three Chinese pictograms ancient of 4,000 years, also be found –very much alike- in other alphabets around the world, representing the existing links among all languages and cultures.
As the agency of the photographer Kim Manresa, Pontas gets his reportage The day Kadi lost part of her life (awarded internationally, among others, with the Visa d´Or pour l´Image at the Festival International du Photojournalisme in Perpignan and the Ortega y Gasset Photojournalism Prize) is published in book form simultaneously in English, French and Spanish. Lluís-Anton Baulenas and Elisa Vázquez de Gey become Pontas clients.
Raimon Panikkar becomes a Pontas client and Pontas works intensively on the relaunching of all his works internationally. The newspaper El País publishes a full page interview by Agustí Fancelli with Anna Soler-Pont. Mireia Serra begins her collaboration with Pontas.
Turkish writer Yasar Kemal gets the Peace Prize of the German Booksellers and the Prize Catalunya from the Catalan government; the publishing house Unionsverlag, holding Kemal’s rights, entrusts Pontas its representation in several countries. Susana Fortes signs the representation contract with Pontas. Nikki Anderson (an Australian based in Barcelona) becomes Pontas’ first collaborator
Anna Soler-Pont works restless on her own with her fax machine and making long queues at the post office in order to push the project of an international literary agency. Luckily, Internet and email will arrive soon. Pontas is present at the Salon du Livre in Paris for the first time.
The first book negotiated by Pontas is published: the Spanish translation ofWoman at Point Zero by Egyptian writer Nawal al-Saadawi. The newspaper La Vanguardia publishes an article by Rosa Maria Piñol about the activity of Anna Soler-Pont in her aim to introduce women authors from Africa, Asia and Oceania in the catalogues of Western publishing houses. Pontas participates in the International Feminist Book Fair in Melbourne (Australia) and the International Conference on African Literature in Accra (Ghana).
Pontas starts creating a catalogue of international women authors who want to be represented and establishing contacts with the main publishing houses around the world. Pontas leaves the electric typing machine behind and buys the first computer. Pontas participates in the Zimbabwe Book Fair for the first time.
Anna Soler-Pont founds Pontas inspired by a conversation in Cairo with Literature Nobel Prize Naguib Mahfouz (that had taken place in October 1991). She decides to become a literary agent and begins a journey overland from Barcelona to New Delhi (across Turkey, Iran and Pakistan) searching for women authors to represent internationally. Pontas is present at the Salon du Livre Euro-Arabe in Paris, the International Feminist Book Fair in Amsterdam and the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time.