A multi-narrative journey that weaves between three families in present-day Bradford, where three worlds collide and leave a Muslim scholar fighting for his life. Now they must face the storm before the calm – and they call it ‘Islamophobia’. Dealing with women’s rights, mosques and the far-right, three young protagonists find themselves propelled into the world of prejudice when their paths collide.

Yusuf is the son of a Pakistani Mosque Scholar doing his best to keep his dad’s dream at arms length. Zac is from a White working class family whose troubles hit fifth gear due to his radical behaviour. Khadija is second generation Iraqi and a recent graduate in Politics whose ambitions are about to be put to the test. Fuelled by yet another grooming case making the headlines, they must decide how Islamophobia will shape their future.



Conor IBRAHIEM began his professional life as an actor in 1999 and appeared in various productions such as ‘DL & Pascoe’, ‘Bad Girls’ and ‘Eastenders’ before taking up scriptwriting in his spare time. That, along with the desire to produce his own work, ultimately led to establishing Arakan Creative in 2009, an Islamic theatre company and Social Enterprise. Arakan looks to address issues within the Muslim world to dispel misconceptions and sow seeds of positive change, having covered issues such as mental health awareness, Hijaab and Extremism. Our latest project addresses Islamophobia, which is explored through our first feature film – ‘Freesia’ – and we hope this is just the first step to building a film production arm to the company.


‘Freesia’ is my directorial debut, although it was never intended to be a feature – it was originally conceived as 3 short films. Of course the creative mind never rests and the idea to turn it into what it has now become meant pulling out all the stops on a modest production budget. What we ended up with is the first UK film to address Islamophobia and stars Aqib Khan from the British Asian film ‘West is West’ and Afsaneh Deyrouyeh of US TV show ‘Tyrant’. It was shot around West Yorkshire in 2014 over a 13-day period and is now coming to the end of its theatrical release at selected UK cinemas. Plans are already underway to develop a sequel, and from there a third instalment. We have used all our resources to their fullest and not been held back by lack of a big budget – and we don’t want to abandon this method. Indeed, we wish to nurture this model of filmmaking and continue to produce low-budget/high concept Social Realism films. In doing so it means providing work and opportunities to cast and crew in the North of the UK and also prove that you don’t need millions to be a success – just the right story, conviction and a talented cast/crew who share the vision.


Director Conor Ibrahiem

Writer Conor Ibrahiem

Producer Conor Ibrahiem

Key Cast

Yusuf Aqib Khan

Khadija Afsaneh Dehrouyeh

Zac Matthew Thomas

Project Type: Feature

Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes 16 seconds

Completion Date: July 1, 2015

Production Budget: 27,000 GBP

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Country of Filming: United Kingdom

Language: Arabic, English, Urdu

Shooting Format: Black Magic Cinema Camera 2.5k

Film Colour: Colour

First-time Filmmaker: Yes

Student Project: No  


  • Miami Independent Film Festival

Miami USA
October 25, 2015
Official Selection

  • LA CineFest

October 18, 2015
Official Selection

  • Equality International Film Festival

Sacramento, California
November 8, 2015
Official Selection

  • Accolade Global Film Competition

San Diego, USA
December 1, 2015
Award of Merit

  • International Filmmaker Fesitval of World Cinema

December 14, 2015
UK premiere
3 Nominations: Best Director. Best Original Screenplay. Best Original Score

  • Focus International Film Festival

January 31, 2016
Official Selection (Film Trailer)

  • Riverside International Film Festival

United States
May 9, 2016
Official Selection

  • Swedish International Film Festival

July 4, 2016
Official Selection

  • South Texas International Film Festival

Edinburg, Texas
United States
September 8, 2016
Official Selection & Texas Premiere

  • Canadian Diversity Film Festival

June 25, 2017
Canadian Premiere
Awarded ‘Best New Filmmaker’

  • Chandler International Film Festival

United States
January 14, 2017
Official Selection

  • Auckland International Film Festival

New Zealand
March 25, 2017
New Zealand Premiere
Awarded ‘Best First Time Filmmaker’

  • Yosemite International Film Festival

United States
October 30, 2016
Official Selection

  • Out of the Can Film Festival

United Kingdom
December 12, 2017
Winner ‘Best Producer – Male’

News & Reviews

  • “Official selection with Miami Independent Film Festival (on line and not for public viewing so premiere status not affected)”

  • “Official selection with Los Angeles CineFest (on line and not for public viewing so premiere status not affected)”

  • “Beating back the Bulldog”

D K Powell – Freelance Writer/Critic

Beating Back the Bulldog – The rise of British Asian movies tackling social issues

  • “”Contains lessons all communities should heed””

Empire Magazine

  • “”Hopefully prompt more studios to examine this fertile ground””

Every Film Blog

  • “Interview on BBC Breakfast News”


  • “Interview on BBC Worldwide”


  • “Violence on the streets of Bradford calls forth a deeply humane film”

Film Review Daily

We use cookies to provide you with the best online experience. By agreeing, you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.