Working Title and Netflix’s deeply moving film, The Swimmers will have its Middle East and North Africa Premiere at The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) taking place from 13-22 November.
Based on a true story, The Swimmers follows the journey from war-torn Syria to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Two young sisters embark on a harrowing journey as refugees, putting both their hearts and champion swimming skills to heroic use.
Starring Nathalie Issa, Manal Issa, Matthias Schweighöfer, Ahmed Malek, James Krishna Floyd, Elmi Rashid Elmi, Kinda Alloush and Ali Suliman. Directed and written by Sally El Hosaini and co-written by multi-award-winning screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne. Produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner alongside Ali Jaafar and Tim Cole with Stephen Daldry executive producing. The film will launch on Netflix on 23 November.
Amir Ramsis, Festival Director of Cairo International Film Festival, expressed his delight to have The Swimmers premiering in the Middle East and North Africa at the Cairo International Film Festival. The Festival is committed to bringing high quality and impactful stories to the region. The inspirational and true story of the Mardini sisters film has received a lot of attention since it premiered at Toronto Film Festival and it is undoubtedly interesting that CIFF is bringing the film as part of its film selection. The Swimmers is one of the highly anticipated films showcasing at this year’s festival.

“It’s an honour to have our Middle East premiere at Cairo International Film Festival.” said The Swimmers director El Hosaini “And I’m thrilled to be returning to Cairo, the city of my childhood, to share the inspirational, true life story of the Mardini sisters”.

The 44th Cairo International Film Festival, under leadership of Hussein Fahmy, will also honor Star Lebleba with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and Director Kamla Abouzekri with the Faten Hamama Award of Excellence. The festival will also welcome Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr who will be running a mentoring workshop and open masterclass, giving up-and-coming filmmakers an opportunity to meet with the international film director.

The complete programme and full film selection showcasing at this year’s festival will be announced soon.