Rola Nashef

Rola Nashef is an American writer, director, producer and multi-media artist who draws upon her extensive experience in the arts and involvement in Detroit’s diverse communities as a catalyst for creative expression and storytelling.

Born in Lebanon and raised in Michigan, Nashef’s work centers around the cultural, familial and social perspectives of the American Mid-West.

By incorporating a sense of the personal- character, humor and life experience- her work has been described by audiences and film critics alike as authentic, fresh. thoughtful, hilarious, entertaining and smart.

Named Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Cinema" (2011), Nashef has received the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Award (2014) for her long-standing work, awarded the Adrienne Shelley Director’s Award (2014), and is a recent recipient of the Detroit Knight Arts Challenge (2019) for her new project Public Light Productions; a Detroit-based film production company in development on a slate of narrative film and television projects.

Nashef’s debut, award-winning feature Detroit Unleaded holds its place in American cinema history as the very first Arab-American romantic comedy portraying second generation Arab characters specific to Detroit & Dearborn. A slice-of-life dramedy that centers around an Arab-owned 24-hour gas station in Detroit, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (2012) where Nashef won the inaugural Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award.