Krismas Iland

Creator: Liz Lee
Age rating: 13 and older
Log Line: A grown up fairy tale about two sisters from Egypt who must overcome incredible odds to escape their past and eventually discover the true meaning of family.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: In the vein of Slumdog Millionaire, "Krismas Iland" is an exotic, gritty and fast-paced adventure about two young siblings who must overcome great odds to survive.

The story follows two young sisters, Fatima and her younger sister Miriam, who live in a small Egyptian town with their devoutly Muslim family.

Fatima is a young and spirited teenager, who resents the fact her little sister Miriam follows her all the time. Miriam has Down Syndrome, which is a source of great embarrassment to the family.

Without Fatima's knowledge, her father agrees to an arranged marriage for her. But before she can be married, Fatima must be made "clean," and undergo female circumcision. Fatima's refusal sets a chain of events into motion, changing both sisters' lives forever.

After killing their cousin in self-defense, Fatima and Miriam become refugees from the law and are forced to flee Egypt. With the aid of their eccentric Aunt Aziza, they attempt their only chance of safety: a long, harrowing journey halfway across the world to Australia, where they will seek a better life.

In Bali, they meet the roguish charmer, Asef, who despite himself begins to fall in love with Fatima. He and his older brother, Farhan, are human smugglers who take refugees by boat to Australia. And, as it turns out, they are also pirates.

At sea, Miriam discovers that Asef and Farhan are planning to dump all the passengers overboard before they arrive in Australia. She and Fatima escape by boat, together with another boy, Selim. With little food and water, and no idea where they are going, they must survive at sea.

They are finally rescued by the Australian Coast Guard, but then taken to Christmas Island, a refugee processing camp off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Fatima leads the children in finding an ingenious way to signal for help from the island.

Asef comes to rescue the sisters - they narrowly escape the island and find themselves on Farhan's boat. After a climactic battle between the two brothers, the girls succeed in turning the tide in their favor, and the pirates are defeated.

The children expect to be taken back to the island, once the ship is found. But with the help of an attorney and their aunt, they are able to finally arrive in Australia. The future is still unknown, but shines bright.

“Krismas Iland” is a daring but accessible story with a unique perspective on gender and immigration issues. At its heart, however, "Krismas Iland" is a movie about sisterhood and family.

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