The Lebanese sisters and actresses Nathalie and Manal Issa will be the stars of a new Netflix original movie, based on a true story, called The Swimmers and that will be released in 2022.
Directed by Sally El Hosaini, a Swedish-Egyptian writer and director, the movie tells the true story of the sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini and their miraculous journey as refugees from Syria all the way to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The storyline begins in 2015 after their family house was destroyed in the Syrian Civil War, and they decided to flee the country.
They first made their way to Lebanon and then Turkey, and arranged to be smuggled into Greece.
Throughout the journey, they got stuck in the middle of the Aegean Sea, the overcrowded refugees’ boat was cut out, and the Mardini sisters and others who could swim ensured the safety of the passengers.
The roles of Yusra and Sarah Mardini will be played by Lebanese sisters Nathalie and Manal Issa who won the best actress award at Les Arcs European Film Festival in 2015.
Netflix’s The Swimmers unites Sally El Hosaini with the lead English actor of her movie “My Brother the Devil” (2012), James Krishna Floyd.
The cast includes Egyptian Ahmed Malek, German Matthias Schweighöfer, Palestinian Ali Suliman, Syrian Kinda Alloush, and Somali-English Elmi Rashid Elmi.
The film is produced by Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, and by Ali Jaafar and Tim Cole. The movie’s executive producer is Stephen Daldry.
Sally El Hosaini is best known for her feature debut “My Brother the Devil” which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, winning the World Cinema Cinematography: Dramatic prize.
It also won the Best British Newcomer Prize at the BFI London Film Festival and the Best European Film at the Berlinale.