Memento Films Intl. has scored a flurry of pre-sales to major territories on “Persian Lessons,” the drama directed by Vadim Perelman.
After unveiling a promo reel of the film at the European Film Market, “Persian Lessons” has sold to Spain (Avalon), Latin America (Sun), Japan (Kino Films), Italy (Academy Two), Benelux (Splendid), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Greece (Spentzos), former Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom), South Africa (Forefront) and Israel (Lev Films).
Set in Occupied France in 1942, “Persian Lessons” toplines Nahuel Perez Biscayart as Gilles, a man who is arrested by the SS alongside other Jews and sent to a concentration camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian. He is then enlisted to teach Farsi to the head of the camp, played by German star Lars Eidinger, who dreams of opening a restaurant in Iran once the war is over. The particular relationship between the two men sparks the jealousy of other prisoners and SS guards, threatening Gilles, who understands that he will not be able to keep his secret very long.
Eidinger stars in Edward Berger’s “All My Loving,” which is world-premiering in the Berlinale’s Panorama section. Perez Biscayart, meanwhile, is best-known for his breakthrough performance in Robin Campillo’s “BPM,” which competed at Cannes and won the Grand Jury Prize.
Shot mainly in German and French, “Persian Lessons” is produced by Russia’s Hype Film, Germany’s LM Media and One Two Films. Producers are Ilya Stewart, Murad Osmann, Pavel Buria, Timur Bekmambetov, Sol Bondy and Jamila Wenske. The film is now in post-production. Alamode will distribute the film in Germany, while Thimfilm will release it in Austria.