TV series by Sally El Hosaini SwimmersThe true story of the Mardini sisters, Syrian refugee Olympic athletes, will be the opening film of the night at the 18th Zurich International Film Festival.
The Swimmers, which will have its world premiere in Toronto, will have its European premiere in Zurich on September 22. Sally El Hosaini is joined by the film’s stars Nathalie Issa and Matthias Schweighöfer and sisters Sara and Yusra. Mardini will attend the Zurich premiere.
Produced by Working Title for Netflix, El Hosaini’s film follows the Mardini sisters’ journey after they fled the Syrian civil war in 2015, trying to escape across the Aegean Sea to Europe. When the engine of the dinghy they were rowing was cut off, two sisters, both champion swimmers, helped save the other passengers. They continued to settle in Germany, where Yusra began training again. She competed at the 2016 Olympics as part of the Refugee Olympic Team.
“THE SWIMMERS is a moving and timely film about a magical journey,” said Christian Jungen, Art Director. “It freaked out Malek, James Krishna Floyd, Elmi Rashid Elmi, Katherine Alloush and Ali Suliman. Directed and written by Sally El Hosaini and co-written by co-writer and playwright Jack Thorne. Produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title alongside Ali Jaafar and Tim Cole with executive producer Stephen Daldry. The series will premiere on Netflix later this year.
The European premiere will take place on Thursday, September 22, at the 1200-seat Convention Center, with an additional public screening at the Corso cinema. The complete program of the 18th Zurich Film Festival will be announced on the website on Thursday, September 8, from 12 noon local time. Ticket sales will begin on Monday, September 12 from 12 noon local time.