Memento International has unveiled the trailer for “Persian Lessons,” the anticipated WWII drama directed by Vadim Perelman (“House of Sand and Fog”), ahead of its theatrical roll-out in Germany later this month.
Alamode Films Distribution will release the film in Germany on Sept. 24 in Germany and will present it on the opening night of the Jewish Film Festival. The movie world premiered at Berlin last year, in the Panorama section, and was a festival highlight.
One of the rare arthouse movies scheduled for a theatrical release during the pandemic, “Persian Lessons” will be released in Russia in mid-October by Hype Films, and in the U.S., France and the U.K. in January by Cohen Media Group, KMBO and Signature, respectively.
The German-Russian movie is nominated in many categories at the European Films Awards and Cohen Media Group intends to position it for the Awards season, starting with the Golden Globes and the international feature film race at the Oscars, according to Mathieu Delaunay at Memento International.
“Persian Lessons,” set in Occupied France in 1942, stars Nahuel Perez Biscayart (“Beats Per Minute”) as Gilles, a Belgian 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.
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The movie has now been sold around the world. Territories closed include Spain (Avalon), Australia (Rialto), 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).
Memento’s fall festival slate includes Philippe Lacoste’s “Nights of the Kings” which played at Venice, Toronto and will next play at the New York Film Festival.