Straight Up Films has acquired rights to the Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, the iconic Holocaust memoir that recounts the soon-to-be psychiatrist’s life in Nazi death camps and lessons for spiritual survival. Frankl was in four camps including Auschwitz from 1942-45; his parents, brother and pregnant wife died.
Straight Up Films founders Marisa Polvino and Kate Cohen will produce with Kevin Hall from the Frankl estate, which sold the rights to SUF. The company is out to potential screenwriters. Marlene Siskel will executive produce.
The book, published in 1946 and written in nine days, had sold more than 10 million copies in 24 languages at the time of Frankl’s death in 1997. It posited Frankl’s theory — known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”) — that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
Original English-language publisher Beacon Press will issue a new paperback edition.
“This is a memoir that has actually changed lives, including ours, and has impacted generations in the way we look at the world and how we navigate its sometimes treacherous pathways,” Polvino and Cohen said. “It will be our absolute honor and privilege to bring this classic story to the screen. We are thankful to Mr. Frankl’s heirs for entrusting us with his story.”