Egyptian-Welsh director Sally El-Hosaini's The Swimmers to open Toronto Film Festival

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Aug 2022

Egyptian-Welsh director Sally El-Hosaini's sport drama The Swimmers will open the 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), marking the international premiere of the film.

The Swimmers


The festival is scheduled to take place between 8 and 18 September 2022.

El-Hosaini's The Swimmers is a 2022 drama that follows swimming sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini who fled as refugees from war-torn Syria all the way to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The 2hr 15min Netflix production is directed by El-Hosaini who also wrote the script together with Jack Thorne. The film features a known cast of regional and international actors, such as Lebanese sister actresses Manal Issa as Yusra and Nathalie Issa as Sarah, alongside Egyptian actor Ahmed Malek, Syrian actress Kinda Alloush, as well as Matthias Schweighöfer, Ali Sulaiman, and James Krishna Floyd. 

“I’m ecstatic. What an honour and privilege to open TIFF with the inspirational true-life story of the Mardini sisters. A city as multicultural and diverse as Toronto is the perfect place to debut our film that elevates the visibility and voice of refugees, reminding us that the human capacity to survive is stronger than most of us know,” El-Hosaini said in an official statement.

El-Hosaini was born in Wales to Welsh-Egyptian parents. The film director and screenwriter's debut feature film My Brother the Devil won international awards, including at the 2013 Evening Standard Film Awards, 2012 Sundance Film Festival, 2012 Berlin International Film Festival, and 2012 BFI London Film Festival Awards. 

Her other films include The Fifth Bowl (2008) and Green Zone (2010). She directed three episodes in the TV mini series Babylon (2014), among other works as a director, screenwriter, actress, and producer.

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