Film and TV Rights: Children and Family

Philomella and the Impossible Forest by Doris Brett

A were-dragon? A talking tree? Saving a world she didn’t know existed? ... Philomella’s having an unusual day. Page-turning adventure, humour and sparkling magic combine in this emotionally intelligent, middle-grade fantasy novel. Books & Publishing called Philomella ‘exactly the hero we need right now.'

An instant family classic that combines contemporary issues with the companionship and adventure of The Wizard of Oz alongside a dash of Alice in Wonderland, Philomella and the Impossible Forest is a fast-paced, thrilling adventure that explores big themes – such as dealing with anger, coping with divorce, and self-acceptance – with a light touch. It also deals with the lingering issues experienced by many children during the covid years, although in a non-covid context.

The covid years hit children hard. They experienced helplessness and uncertainty, the disappearance of familiar, grounding routines, the loss of friends, the sense of unseen danger all around, and drained, over-burdened parents. In a non-covid context, Philomella is concerned with similar issues: she has lost her friends, is socially isolated, has been dragged, helplessly, into a new life that she hates. She is angry at her father, not getting enough of her over-loaded mother, and resents everything about her ‘new normal’. Her experiences in the Impossible Forest, with its challenges, dangers and seductive traps, allow her to face her fears and find her own capacity for resilience, empathy and hope.

Brett has created a world of cinematic, fast-paced adventure, strange magic and quirky inhabitants, perfect for international audiences and for adaptation to live action cinema. The Impossible Forest is an enchanted space in which to explore some of the difficult real-life emotions and experiences that many children deal with as they grow up.

Books & Publishing:
…Facing a variety of dangers and challenges with a large amount of empathy and creativity, Philomella acts as a timely reminder not to underestimate kindness in the face of danger, and the importance of looking beneath the surface of those around us.


  • The Touble in Tune Town by Maura Pierlot

This story is suitable for adaptation to an animated Feature and/or TV series for Children and Families.
Pierlot has brilliantly captured an imaginative absurdity in this animated story of real life ‘troubles’. The text sets a rollicking, up-tempo rhyme that makes for an entertaining read aloud story for young children, whilst setting the tone with valuable messages in persistence, resilience and trying your best.

Romi Sharp, Review in Just Kids Lit:
As Meg’s despondent notes fly off her music sheet in search of a new home, they try out different styles such as jazz and rock ‘n’ roll but none of them feel right. What will it take for the notes to come home?
The story engages kids in the joy of music to show them that you don’t have to stress and worry about the perfect practice. If you relax and smile, the notes will come together and make a great song, even if it’s not the perfect one.

Sarah Wallace, Review in Kids’ Book Review :
This lovey picture Storybook published by Little Steps in 2018, won the ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category). Presenting the award, ACT Writers Centre Director, Paul Bissett, described The Trouble in Tune Town as 'a gorgeous picture book that tells a fun story with a lovely message for children along the way, and provides a perfect introduction to the world of music'.

An animation company could develop new illustrated characters or use the ones drawn by Sophie Norsa for the picture storybook. At this stage there is only one named character in the book, Meg. Maura has many ideas for possible plot lines and would be keen to work with a production company on the project.
See a video of author Maura Pierlot reading this wonderful book on you tube here: and see also

Contact Golvan Arts know if you are interested in this idea and if you would like us to send you the pitch document. 


Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

peeling the onionFinding yourself in hospital, in a bed of shattered glass, is traumatic. Coming to terms with multiple fractures and probable long-term difficulties is something else again – slow, painful, full of obstacles and questions with no clear answers. Anna is used to being athletic, popular, ‘normal’. Now she feels the layers of her familiar self being peeled away: nothing is normal or easy. Can she pick up the pieces of her life? What part will Hayden and Luke play? And who, now, is Anna Duncan?

This was an Honour Book in the 1997 Children’s Book Council Awards Older Readers Section and is being studied in many secondary schools. It is a dramatic story that lends itself to film adaptation. Peeling the Onion has been translated into Danish, Italian, German and Dutch and is published in English in Australasia, the UK and North America.

Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (


Unlike most Holocaust movies, this story is also suitable for younger viewers, yet is based on real events. The author invented Miri, but not what Miri does, feels, or witnesses. 

Miri’s dramatic story is based on the life of a girl who escaped the Warsaw ghetto in a sideboard - one of only four children to do so. We identify with Miri in the warm, happy atmosphere of her life in pre-war Poland; then, through her eyes, see the escalating horror of those times as she smuggles food into the ghetto, risks her life taking her younger sister to safety, hides in attics and cellars to escape deportation, climbs precariously onto rooftops to evade the Nazis; and lives with fighters preparing for the uprising. 

Miri, like Anne Frank, is a lively, engaging character, but Miri’s personal experiences provide a broader insight into life under the Nazis.

Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

IncrediblePowersOfMontagueTowersSo this crazy guy in a cape has given you super powers, but you only get one a day for six days and you have to solve the crime of the century.

This book has everything you could ask for in a family movie: super powers, bad jokes, suspense, danger, slapstick and a nervous young hero who does almost everything wrong but still, eventually, wins the day. It is a funny, fast-moving adventure with strong characters and visual action driving the narrative. The story lends itself equally to animation or live action.

Picture a boy who can fly like a bird but gets tangled up in a flock of ducks, a super villain who is a nastier, fatter version of Sidney Greenstreet from the Maltese Falcon; and an elderly superhero whose x-ray vision is so bad he can only see through one blurry image to another equally blurry one underneath.


Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

DancingintheDark Flux CoverForbidden by her ultra-orthodox Jewish parents to have ballet lessons, a young girl starts to dance in secret, ultimately having to choose between her family and a career as a dancer.

Since dance is an art form best perceived through visual means, Dancing in the Dark naturally lends itself to film. The story has a strong and sympathetic central character who is determined to dance despite her family and community’s fierce disapproval and eventual ostracism. This conflict between self-actualisation and family loyalty is a universal one, as are the related themes of culture clash, feminism, personal freedom and the divisive nature of religious extremism. Set primarily in suburban Melbourne, the film would be relatively easy and cost-effective to produce, and while the physical locale of the movie would have a familiar or relatable feel to most viewers, the story reveals a ‘hidden’ and intriguing culture. Dancing in the Dark is similar in genre to Billy Elliot, Bend it Like Beckham and Looking for Alibrandi, and as a feature film would likely appeal to a mass market audience, not just to teens.


 Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

Flux Cover PirouetteThis twist on a popular twin swap story combined with great dancing and choreography has the potential to be a wonderful movie. The story itself is extremely filmic, the dance scenes almost begging for screen adaptation. Pirouette is bound to appeal to a wide audience of tweens, teens, and lovers of dance. Climactic moments in the story such as when the two girls ‘out’ themselves as identical twins to family and friends by dancing together on stage are truly captivating. Moreover, the twins’ trials, involving their aspirations, boyfriends, peer troubles and tensions around the swap, culminating in the ultimate ‘happy ending,’ make for a heart-warming, feel-good movie that is entertainment at its best. 


Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

This powerful and dramatic adventure, based on the history and mythology of Ancient Crete, is by an award winning, internationally recognized author. It could be adapted to either the big or small screen as an animated or live action feature film or television series.

Aissa, the female main character transcends her bleak and desperate existence, to eventually become a leader. She must learn not only the acrobatics of somersaulting over a charging bull, but learn to trust in others: the mother figures that she learns from, her team mates, and most of all, the gentle strength and loyalty of the male protagonist Luki, the other tribute youth from her small island. With Aissa and Luki, both males and females have resourceful and resilient characters to identify with and dream about. A Bronze Aged Hunger Games!


ravens mountain coverFilm/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

Eleven year-old Raven, her nearly fourteen year-old sister Lily and their stepfather Scott hike up a mountain. Near the summit, Raven races ahead and is thrown down the cliff in a rockslide, landing bruised but uninjured. Scott and Lily shelter under an overhanging ledge and are sealed in. Raven heads down the mountain alone for help. In the quest to save her sister and stepfather, she is alternately inspired and terrified by nature and animals (including a rare white Spirit Bear with one white cub and one black). Will she find help in time to save Lilly and Scott?

This book is a family adventure with great characters and dramatic action by an award winning, internationally recognized author.  A step-father is trying to connect with his step-daughters through a hike in the mountains where he spent his youth. A self-absorbed teenage sister participates reluctantly. Our hero Raven pushes herself past the limits of physical and emotional endurance to save the other two in a life-and-death race-for-help. Flashbacks of memories and imagined conversations draw us deeper into her story as she develops from a dreamer, full of self doubt to someone who is courageous enough face the truth of her own history, do what is required to help her step-father and sister; and face the future.


  • Rainbow Street Shelter Series and Rainbow Street Pets Story Collection by Wendy Orrrainbow street pets

Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

Come to Rainbow Street Animal Shelter and meet your new best friend! Some of the pets are lost. Some of them have never had a home. But all of them need someone to love. The boys and girls from a variety of backgrounds, who become the animals' friends, all attend the same school and appear in all the stories. All the ingredients are here for a wonderful series.

From 2011 to 2013, six stories were published in the USA by Henry Holt while in Australia, the six stories were published in one collection in 2012.

Wendy Orr has many more ideas for these heart warming and dramatic stories about animals and the humans who adopt them, which are crying out to be adapted for the small screen for animal lovers around the world. 


  • octavius omalley cvrOctavius O’Malley and the Mystery of the Exploding Cheese by Alan Sunderland

Film/tv Rights available through Golvan Arts Management (

A fast-moving, action-driven plot, loads of humour and strong dialogue, well-drawn and memorable characters and a universal story of rat cunning, loyalty and crime-fighting all combine to make this an ideal animation project. It is the first of three interconnected stories all featuring the same characters; and the story-telling style, featuring sight-gags, word play and Bogart & Bacall style dialogue, will appeal to both adults and kids.