Netflix Starts Production on ‘The Swimmers’ – Rare On-Screen Look at the Sport

Yusra Mardini; Photo Courtesy: ONU Brazil

Netflix has begun production on a film called “The Swimmers,” which tells the story of Syrian refugees Yusra and Sarah Mardini. Yusra Mardini swam for the Refugee Olympic team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Variety reports that Netflix and Working Title Films are collaborating on the project. Welsh-born Egyptian director Sally El Hosaini will direct. El Hosaini wrote the screenplay with Jack Thorne. Academy Award-nominee producer Stephen Daldry, who was a producer and director for “The Crown,” will serve as executive producer.

“The Swimmers” was five days from shooting in 2020 before that was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The movie will shoot in the U.K. next week, followed by locations in Turkey and Belgium. It is slated for a 2022 release.

“The Swimmers” will tell the story of the Mardini sisters, who fled the Syrian Civil War in 2015 after their house was destroyed. While crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, the engine of the overcrowded boat they were riding on died. The Mardini sisters joined other refugee passengers who were able to swim in piloting the boat safely to shore.

The Mardini sisters will be portrayed by Lebanese sisters Manal and Nathalie Issa. The cast also includes James Krishna Floyd, Ahmed Malek, Matthias Schweighofer, Ali Suliman, Kinda Alloush and Elmi Rashid Elmi.

Thorne is a BAFTA-winning screenwriter. El Hosaini’s first feature film, 2013’s “My Brother is the Devil,” starred Floyd and earned awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the BFI London Film Festival and Berlinale. Manal Issa won the best actress award at the 2015 Les Arcs European Film Festival.

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1 year ago

Lovely . I am a swimming coach. My daughter who is also a Sri Lankan champ is also a swimming coach. She has a student called Manal. She got cured of Asthma, due to my daughter’s swimming training, which was so well planned to care for the child’s requirements. That is a great achievement for us. Would love to see the” Swimmers”.Al the dest. Stay safe. TC.-Rohan and Dana.