Auto Plus

Festival Year:
Director: Faranak Sahafian
Producer: Sina Pooresmaeil, Joshua C. Thomas, Munir Atalla, Kunitaro Ohi
Screenwriter: Sina Pooresmaeil

After losing his father to COVID, Sina has to repossess Josh’s Silver Nissan Impala to close out the accounts at his father’s car dealership, “Auto Plus”.

Auto Plus was written, produced by, and stars Sina Pooresmaeil as he returns to his hometown in Virginia to confront his Iranian immigrant father’s legacy. Pooresmaeil blurs the lines between reality and fiction as he plays an autobiographically inspired role that pushes him to a place of raw emotion and culminates in stunning revelations.

Auto Plus was also produced by and stars Joshua C. Thomas, playing a character whose trying to hold onto his way of life for the child he’s raising, amidst loss and hardship during the pandemic.

Directed by Faranak Sahafian, herself a first-generation immigrant from Iran, the film features two perspectives, Sina and his longtime collaborator Josh. The trio became friends at Columbia’s School of the Arts in different disciplines, and they came together to workshop the story and delve deep into the emotional heart of a confrontation that escalates into a heart-wrenching climax.

The story is set at one intersection in Arlington, Virginia, where a melting pot of working class immigrants and people of color have run small businesses for decades. It’s a neighborhood Sina grew up in. Each day African-American, Iranian,and Latine populations interact and collide in the spirit of pursuing the American dream. It’s a community that was rocked by the pandemic. Auto Plus is a tribute to the working class people who sacrifice and persevere in today’s America to selflessly provide for their families.