A LECTURER at Leeds Trinity University has headed to the Toronto International Film Festival for the

world premiere of her creation The Journey.

Isabelle Stead, an award-winning international writer and producer, co-wrote and produced the film, which is a thought-provoking thriller about an Iraqi female suicide bomber.

Set in Baghdad in 2006, the film follows Sara, a young woman who enters a Baghdad station with sinister intentions. As she braces herself to commit an unthinkable act her plans are drastically altered by an unwanted and awkward encounter with Salam, a self-assured and flirtatious salesman. The film offers audiences the opportunity to engage with a woman swept up in something she cannot fully fathom; the result of which is potentially disastrous and destructive.

Isabelle said: "I’m thrilled to screen The Journey at Toronto IFF. It’s taken five years to get here and we couldn’t have hoped for a stronger start for this film. As a woman in film I felt it was my duty to give a voice to this subject matter and try to make sense of something that I couldn’t begin to understand. It’s an important topic with no clear solution, but opening a dialogue on the subject, discussing the issue may be the most effective way of dealing with extremist violence where other counter terrorism measures have failed."

She added: "This film doesn’t condone or condemn extremist actions. It merely provides an opportunity to open up the discussion around the film’s subject while simultaneously striving to open up a dialogue on the subject."

Isabelle worked with Leeds based, Iraqi filmmaker and director Mohamed Al-Daradji. The World premiere took place on Saturday and the national premiere will take place in London on Wednesday, October 11. It will also screen at major autumn festivals in Asia and Europe.

Picture Tree International has picked up The Journey for international sales. Backers include BFI, Screen Yorkshire, Sanad – The Abu Dhabi Film Festival and The Doha Film Institute, Cinema du Monde CNC and The Arab Cultural Fund.