The Swimmers’, directed by Sally El Hosaini, will open the Toronto International Film Festival, which is scheduled to open on September 8.
Actor sisters Manal Issa and Nathalie Issa from Lebanon will play the roles of swimmers Yusra Mardini and Sarah Mardini, who is a famous refugee swimmer.
In 2015, Yusra and her sister Sarah fled Syria and embarked on a perilous journey to Europe to seek asylum. They traveled in an overloaded rubber boat from Lebanon to Turkey and then on to Greece.
Fifteen minutes after entering the sea, the boat’s engine failed and the dinghy was in danger of capsizing.
A professional swimmer, Yusra, her sister, and two others jumped into the water and swam in open water for three and a half hours to save the lives of 20 people so that other passengers would not drown.
In 2016, Yusra represented 65 million displaced people worldwide at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2021, she also participated in the Tokyo Olympics and was the flag bearer of the refugee delegation.
After becoming world famous, she won many awards and her outstanding performance was recognized by prestigious magazines such as ‘Time’ and ‘People’.
Yusra currently resides in Berlin, Germany, where she is focusing on her professional swimming career.