The city of River Rouge, just outside of Detroit in the downriver region, is the focus of the opening night film for this year’s Freep Film Festival. The documentary called “Rouge” was directed by local filmmaker Hamoody Jaafar. Jaafar and another Detroit-area filmmaker Razi Jafri finished “Rouge” this year. Jafri is the producer of the film, which started filming in 2019 and follows the River Rouge High School Panthers basketball team as they began their quest for another state championship. 


“Rouge” features four players with the team along with their head coach and many past players and sports figures who talk about the history of the Panthers including Michigan State University Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Izzo, former University of Detroit Mercy basketball coach Perry Watson and longtime Detroit Free Press reporter Mick McCabe. 

“Rouge” opens the film festival Wednesday, April 10 at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Jaafar talked to One Detroit’s Bill Kubota about how his love for basketball led him to the amazing story of the River Rouge High School Panthers, a team that has the most men’s basketball state championships in Michigan history. 

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