Hakeem is the teenage son of east African immigrant parents living in Montreal’s tough Parc-Ex neighbourhood. Along with his best friend Anthony ‘A-Mac’ McDonald, the two work at Hakeem’s uncle’s car wash ’spotting’ luxury sports cars for a local crime syndicate to make extra money. A-Mac eventually persuades Hakeem to boost a car on their own leading to a windfall of cash that has dire consequences down the road - forcing Hakeem to make a life altering decision and define the type of man he will become.
Growing up in Montréal, I always wanted to tell stories about my city; to show audiences parts of Montreal they might not have known even existed. I attended Wagar high school in the early 90’s and I felt it was a fantastic setting to showcase Montréal’s rich cultural diversity. There was always a sense of constant tension among the students caused by differences in their religion, culture and language, which created an atmosphere I wanted to see portrayed in an authentic film about growing up in Montréal. I felt the story of two young car thieves from Montréal’s Park-Extension neighborhood would be an excellent entry point into a tense drama about making the journey from adolescence into manhood. Considering that everyone experiences this transformative time in their lives, I believe these coming of age stories tap into a very primal narrative for audience members. Even though the location and cultures vary from story to story, the core narrative of Boost transcends those elements to create a relatable and strong emotional tale – which I believe makes for a great film.