Lebanese actresses and real-life sisters, Manal and Nathalie Issa will portray Yusra and Sarah Mardini in the upcoming movie.
Netflix and Working Title have started production on The Swimmers, directed by Egyptian-Welsh director and screenwriter Sally El Hosaini. The film is based on the true story of Syrian refugees-turned-Olympians Sarah and Yusra Mardini.
The film tells the true story of swimming sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini’s journey as refugees from war-torn Syria to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Yusra competed as a swimmer as part of the Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROT).
In 2015, after their house was destroyed in the Syrian Civil War, the Mardini sisters decided to flee the country. They made their way to Lebanon and then Turkey, where they arranged to be smuggled into Greece by dinghy. In the middle of the Aegean Sea, the engine failed 15 minutes into the trip, they had to swim for three and a half hours in a bid to stop the boat from capsizing.
Lebanese actresses, and real-life sisters, Manal and Nathalie Issa will portray Yusra and Sarah Mardini in the upcoming movie.
They will be joined by Arab-Israeli actor Ali Suliman, Egyptian actor Ahmed Malek, Syrian actress Kinda Alloush and James Krishna Floyd, who starred in El-Hosaini’s last film My Brother the Devil, which won the World Cinema Cinematography at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
The forthcoming film will be produced by Working Title’s Eric and Tim Bevan, Ali Jaafar and Tim Cole. Stephen Daldry is the executive producer.
It is slated for global release on Netflix in 2022.