When I received an invitation to view Detroit Unleaded at the Detroit Institute of Film, for its red carpet premiere, I had to smile. “You did it, Roula!” I thought.
Roula Nashef, the writer, director and producer of the film went to the same film school I went to, Motion Picture Institute of Michigan. I had met her on several occasions and I have been following her hard and long journey towards completing her first feature film. As a filmmaker myself, it is inspiring to see a woman like Roula not only get her film onto the big screen, in an industry where the percentage of women filmmakers is less than 9 percent, but for the film to also win awards.
The Director of the Detroit Institute of Films was at the Toronto Film Festival when he decided to watch Detroit Unleaded. He was impressed.
“When I find something that is extraordinary I try to present it to as many people as humanly possible,” he said tonight. “I fell in love with this movie. The whole country will ultimately fall in love with this movie because it is a wonderful movie.”
That it is. Aside from the fact that it is 100% cast and filmed in Detroit and that it portrays a more realistic image of Arab-Americans, Detroit Unleaded is nicely done, with genuine humor.
Roula will surely one day make Hollywood films. I look forward to watching her career move in that direction.