Bilal (Firat Ayverdi), a 17-year-old Kurdish boy, has travelled through the Middle East and Europe to join his girlfriend, freshly immigrated to England. But his journey comes to an abrupt end when he is stopped on the French side of the Channel. Having decided to swim across, Bilal goes to the local swimming pool to train. There he meets Simon (Vincent Lindon), a swimming instructor in the midst of a divorce. To impress his estranged wife (Audrey Dana) and win back her heart, Simon decides to risk everything by taking Bilal under his wing, and give him shelter and swimming lessons.
An ode to the abandoned immigrants trapped on the shores of Calais and the good Samaritans who take risks to help them, the ironically titled Welcome stars popular French actor Vincent Lindon as Simon and talented newcomer Firat Ayverdi as Bilal, in his first role. Although Simon and Bilal develop a sincere father-son relationship, Simon takes the risk of being arrested for helping an illegal immigrant.
Released in March 2009 in France after premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival, Welcome has fuelled many debates with its politically controversial stance. Unanimously critically acclaimed it also became a box-office success and is the recipient of many awards.
simon e' istruttore di nuoto in una piscina comunale a calais, sulla costa nord della francia. in crisi con la moglie e svolge il suo lavoro come una banale routine, fi no a quando incontra bilal, un giovane curdo che ha attraversato l'europa da clandestino per raggiungere la ragazza in inghilterra. dopo un tentativo fallito di varcare la frontiera, l'unica possibilita' per bilal di realizzare il suo sogno e' attraversare la manica a nuoto e simon e' il solo che puo' allenarlo.