Egyptian Welsh director Sally El-Hosaini to receive Toronto International Film Festival award


DUBAI: The annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Tribute Awards, set to take place on Sept. 11, will honor Egyptian Welsh filmmaker and screenwriter Sally El-Hosaini. The “My Brother the Devil” director will be honored with the TIFF Emerging Talent Award.

El-Hosaini’s latest production, “The Swimmers,” will also be the opening film at this year’s festival. The film is based on the true story of Syrian refugees Sarah and Yusra Mardini who fled their war-torn country by boat and had to swim part of the way to keep the vessel moving. Yusra competed as a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes’ contingent at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

Lebanese actresses, and real-life sisters, Manal and Nathalie Issa portray Yusra and Sarah in the movie. They will be joined by Arab Israeli actor Ali Suliman, Egyptian actor Ahmed Malek, Syrian actress Kinda Alloush and “The Good Karma Hospital” star James Krishna Floyd.

The Toronto International Film Festival, set to run from Sept. 8-18, will feature a slate of Arab films, including these thought-provoking movies.

‘A Gaza Weekend’

A bumbling Englishman and an uptight Israeli are desperate to get into the Gaza strip when a virus breaks out in this irreverent satire from British Palestinian director Basil Khalil.


In this second feature from Tunisian writer-director Youssef Chebbi, a series of mysterious deaths in an abandoned development north of Tunis sends two detectives down an all-consuming rabbit hole.

‘The Swimmers’

This soaring epic dramatizes the true story of two sisters who left their home in war-torn Syria for a new life in Europe — and the chance to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

‘Concrete Valley’

This sensitive sophomore feature from Antoine Bourges is a complex portrait set in an Arab immigrant community in Toronto.

‘The Taste of Apples is Red’

In this gripping debut from Syrian filmmaker Ehab Tarabieh, a respected sheik must make an impossible decision between family and duty when his estranged brother returns to the Golan Heights after living 47 years in exile.


Five high school classmates face the daily struggles of being Palestinian in Israel that is only heightened in the lead-up to Nakba Day.