Netflix unveils new trailer for 'The Swimmers' ahead of November 23 release

The film, which follows two sisters' escape from the conflict in Syria, will also have its Middle East debut at the Cairo International Film Festival

A scene from 'The Swimmers', starring Lebanese actresses and real-life sisters Nathalie, left, and Manal Issa as Yusra and Sarah Mardini. Photo: Netflix
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Neflix has just released a new trailer for Egyptian-Welsh director Sally El Hosaini's film The Swimmers, about two teenage sisters who fled Damascus during Syrian civil war in the hopes of competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The film will be available for streaming on Netflix from November 23.

The Swimmers, which opened the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year, stars Lebanese actresses, and real-life sisters, Nathalie and Manal Issa as Yusra and Sarah Mardini.

The Mardini sisters made international headlines when the overcrowded dinghy they boarded from Turkey broke down on the way to Greece. They and two others had to swim for more than three hours in open water to keep it from capsizing.

Aside from Toronto, The Swimmers also opened the Zurich Film Festival in September, with El Hosaini saying: “Never has there been such an important time for Europeans to see a film that elevates the visibility of refugees and honours those who risk their lives to have a better, safer life."

On November 16, The Swimmers, which was co-written by El Hosaini and British screenwriter Jack Thorne, and also stars Syrian actress Kinda Alloush, German actor Matthias Schweighofer and British actor James Floyd — will also enjoy its Mena region premiere at the opening night of 44th Cairo International Film Festival, which runs from November 13 to 22.

In a statement released by the festival, El Hosaini said: “It’s an honour to have our Middle East premiere at Cairo International Film Festival.

"I’m thrilled to be returning to Cairo, the city of my childhood, to share the inspirational, true-life story of the Mardini sisters”.

Before the Toronto screenings, El-Hosaini, who was also honoured with the festival's Emerging Talent Award, told audiences the film had been "a real labour of love".

"So much love poured into it. Sleepless nights, sweat and tears and it’s such an honour to share it with you," she said.

“And it really shows what this city and festival stands for, in giving a film like this such an incredible platform.”

Updated: November 02, 2022, 1:42 PM