Congratulations to director Rola Nashef and the cast and crew of Detroit Unleaded on the world premiere of the feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival last weekend.
Allied Media Projects staff and program participants were involved at various points in the production and promotion of this film.
Graduates of Allied Media Projects’ Detroit Future Media program built the website for the film, and Rola has screened rough-cuts of Detroit Unleaded and lead conversations on Black-Arab relations at the Allied Media Conference. Rola and Unleaded editor Nathanael Sherfield have also joined Detroit Future Media as guest instructors, leading trainings and discussions on the role of independent filmmaking in Detroit's economic development. DFM Program Coordinator Imad Hassan played a small on-screen part in the film and former AMP staff person Joe Namy assisted with production, post-production and the musical score.
The Detroit Unleaded story follows Sami, a young Arab-American trying to balance his dreams with responsibilities to his family, all while chasing love from behind his bulletproof glass cage in a Detroit gas station. The film is an honest, provocative exploration of Detroit's Arab-American community and the social and economic relationships between that community and the predominately African-American community of Detroit, through the lens of gas stations.
The film's multi-dimensional characters are compelling and relatable, whether or not you are Arab-American or from Detroit. Through Nashef's skillful writing and directing, Detroit Unleaded presents a powerful antidote to the dominant misrepresentations of Arabs and Arab-Americans in film.