Netflix is set to release The Swimmers this year in an effort to expand its library of content inspired by true stories. The Swimmers will tell the story of two Syrian sisters who fled their war-torn home in Damascus and had to swim in choppy Mediterranean seas as asylum seekers to reach the Greek island of Lesbos before competing in the pool at the Rio Olympic Games. Sally El Hosaini, whose credits include Babylon, My Brother the Devil, and The Fifth Bowl, directs the film. El Hosaini also collaborated with Enola Holmes screenwriter Jack Thorne on the script for The Swimmers.
Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, along with Ali Jaafar and Tim Cole, produce the film. Stephen Daldry is also executive producing. According to industry experts, The Swimmers is one of Netflix’s top Oscar contenders for 2023. The BBFC has given the film a 15 rating, and while it is primarily in English, it also includes Arabic. It has a total running time of 134 minutes.
Everything else we know about Netflix’s The Swimmers is as follows:
What is The Swimmers’ plot?
The Swimmers tells the story of the Mardini sisters’ journey, who nearly drowned while fleeing war-torn Syria. The two were planned to be smuggled into Greece in a crowded dinghy that experienced an engine failure in the middle of the Aegean Sea after travelling to Lebanon and then Turkey. To prevent the boat from capsizing and to ensure the safety of everyone else on the dinghy, the sisters swam for three and a half hours. As a member of the Refugee Olympic Team in 2016, Yusra Mardini participated in swimming competitions at the 2016 Olympics.
Who is in The Swimmers’ cast?
Sisters Manal Issa and Nathalie Issa play the roles of Yusra and Sarah Mardini in the Netflix original film The Swimmers. They are joined by Elmi Rashid Elmi, Kinda Alloush, James Krishna Floyd, Matthias Schweighöfer, Ali Suliman, and Ahmed Malek.
When will The Swimmers be available on Netflix?
The film, which was shot in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Turkey in 2021, is set to premiere on September 8th at the Toronto Film Festival 2022, but the Netflix release date is still unknown. The Swimmers is one of several Netflix films screening at TIFF, including Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Wendell & Wild. It’s the opening night gala film.
In any case, it shouldn’t take too long. Sally El Hosaini, director, said of the TIFF inclusion:
“I’m overjoyed. What an honour and privilege it has been to kick off TIFF with the inspiring true-life story of the Mardini sisters. A city as multicultural and diverse as Toronto is the ideal setting for the premiere of our film, which raises the visibility and voice of refugees while reminding us that the human capacity to survive is greater than most of us realise.”