Dir: Philippe Lioret




Bilal, a Kurdish teenager has travelled through the Middle East and Europe to join his girlfriend in England. But his journey comes to an end when he is stopped on the French side of the Channel. Deciding he must swim across, Bilal goes to the local swimming pool to train.

There he meets Simon, a swimming instructor in the midst of a divorce. To impress his estranged wife and win her back, Simon takes Bilal under his wing, giving him shelter as well as swimming lessons.

An ode to the desperate migrants stuck on the shores of Calais, the ironically titled Welcome stars popular French actor Vincent Lindon (Anything for Her) as Simon and talented newcomer Firat Ayverdi as Bilal. With brutal honesty, it portrays the lives of refugees trying to reach the UK from France, suffering and struggling in an atmosphere of intolerable uncertainty, and the risks run by some to help them.

Winner of three prizes at the 2009 Berlinale International Film Festival including the Audience Prize.

Booking Information

Release Date

6 November 2009

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