Berlin Adds Omar Sy's 'Police,' Holocaust Drama 'Persian Lessons' to Specials Lineup

Courtesy of the Berlin Film Festival

'Persian Lessons' from director Vadim Perelman will also have its world premiere in the out-of-competition section of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Berlin has added two more world premieres to its 2020 lineup, announcing Thursday that Police, aka Night Shift, the new drama from French director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) and Persian Lessons from Russian director Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) will screen in Berlin's out-of-competition Berlinale Special section.

Police features French star Omar Sy (The Intouchables) alongside Virginie Efira (Elle) and Grégory Gadebois (The Returned) as a trio of French cops who represent a cross-section of French society.

Persian Lessons is a Holocaust story with a strange twist: in an attempt to survive the death camps, a Jewish prisoner (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) swears he is actually Persian. To maintain the fraud, he begins teaching Farsi, a language he doesn't know. Lars Eidinger (Clouds of Sils Maria) co-stars.

To lighten up an otherwise somber selection, Berlin will also screen Jerry Lewis' 1963 classic The Nutty Professor in an restored version, with behind-the-scenes footage being shown prior to the film. Lewis’ son Chris Lewis will present the screening.

Berlin will announce its full competition lineup next week. The 70th Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 20-March 1. It will be the first edition under new co-heads Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek who replaced longtime Berlinale boss Dieter Kosslick.