Cohen Media Takes Berlinale Title 'Persian Lessons' for North America

Courtesy of HypeFilms

The darkly comic Holocaust drama tells the story of a Belgian Jew who claims to be Persian to escape the firing squad.

Charles C. Cohen's Cohen Media Group has acquired North American rights to Persian Lessons, from House of Sand and Fog director Vadim Perelman, which had its world premiere earlier this week at the Berlinale.

The acquisition was negotiated by John Kochman, CMG executive vice president, and Mathieu Delaunay, head of sales for Paris-based Memento Film International. CMG acquired all rights for the U.S. and Canada and plans to release the film in late 2020.

The darkly comic drama, inspired by a true story of the Holocaust, sees Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (If You Saw His Heart) play a Belgian Jew who claims to be Persian when he is rounded up and about to face the firing squad. The terrified prisoner desperately tries to save himself by agreeing to teach Farsi — a language he does not know and thus makes up — to an eager-to-learn Nazi transit camp commandant (Lars Eidinger, Clouds of Sils Maria).

"Persian Lessons is a terrific film we’ve been waiting for from Vadim Perelman ever since his amazing debut, and we’re thrilled to bring it to a wide audience,” said Kochman.