Sam Jones

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Film to follow teenager who crossed the Mediterranean and competed at Rio

Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry’s latest protagonist is Yusra Mardini, who fled conflict in Syria and became Olympic swimmer

Stephen Daldry’s films have chronicled the lives and struggles of Brazilian street children, the madness and melancholy of Virginia Woolf, and, most famously of all, the trials and triumphs of a young boy from County Durham who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer.

Few of his characters, however, have had to show quite as much resilience and determination as his latest protagonist, Yusra Mardini.

I thought it would be a real shame if I drowned in the sea, because I am a swimmer

Related: From Syria to Rio: refugee Yusra Mardini targets Olympic swimming spot

Related: Yusra Mardini delights with butterfly heat win for Refugee Olympic Team

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