Boost, a first solo feature from Montreal director Darren Curtis, is a gritty and thrilling look at 72 hours in the lives of two high-school students who live in Montreal’s tough Parc-Ex neighbourhood. Jahmil French and Nabil Rajo star as Anthony and Hakeem who work at a car wash run by Hakeem’s uncle Ram (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), who uses it as a front for more nefarious business dealings. Their friendship is put to the ultimate test when they become entangled with the mob after stealing a car that leads to a windfall of cash, but has dire consequences down the road.
Nabil Rajo won the Canadian Screen Award for best lead actor in a feature film for his role in the film. “You have no idea what this means to a kid from Asmara, Eritrea” Rajo says. “I’ve waited a very long time to see a character like Hakeem on the big screen. Representation does matter.”
Watch his acceptance speech around 27 minutes into CBC’s lives-stream archive from the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.