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“Detroit Unleaded” enjoys its red carpet premiere and run at the Detroit Film Theatre

November 13 2013 | 1 comment

detroit unleaded

Nearly 10 years of Rola Nashef’s life are poured into “Detroit Unleaded,” the film that will make its Detroit premiere November 13th on the big screen at the Detroit Film Theatre inside the Detroit Institute of Arts.

“I call it a slice of life romantic dramedy,” filmmaker Nashef told Detroit 2020.

Told from an Arab-American perspective, “Detroit Unleaded” was filmed in Detroit.

Local actors E.J. Assi and Nada Shouhayib fill the lead roles.  Assi, who grew up in Port Huron and attended Wayne State University, plays Sami, who inherits the family gas station
Stuck inside bullet proof glass, Sami meets Najlan, played by Shouhayib, and there’s an immediate connection and attraction.

“Sami, he’s trapped in this cage and he’s trying so hard to get out of it, without actually trying and then she comes into his life,” said Assi.  “Then all of a sudden she opens all these doors for him.”

“The way it progresses very innocently, I think, is one of the most beautiful parts of the movie,” said Shouhayib, who grew up in Troy and was attending the University of Michigan when the movie was shot in 2010.  “It leaves a lot more for the imagination of thought.

“It’s very much a relationship film and not just between the couple but the customers that come in and out of the gas station,” said Nashef.

“Detroit Unleaded” took honors in 2012 at the Toronto Film Festival and there has been positive reaction from screenings held around the world.  The film gets time in the spotlight with the hometown audience starting tonight at the DFT.

“It’s a great film whether you know us personally or you don’t,” said Shouhayib. It’s about our city. It’s about us, it’s about our people so it’s just a wonderful film for everybody to come out and see.”

Premiere seats sold out for tonight’s opening but $25 and $12 tickets remain for tonight’s 8 p.m. showing.  The five day run includes the following showtimes:

Friday, Nov. 15 – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 16 – 10 pm.

Sunday, Nov. 17 – 7 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 18 – 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 19 – 7 p.m.



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  1. marytee November 19, 2013

    I bought the short version of this film at the Arab American International Festival a few years ago. I found it enjoyable. Good to see they made a full movie. Congratulations!


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