15-year-old Brandon comes from an underprivileged background, which he is ashamed of. On top of everything, he gets picked on at school for his out-of-fashion clothes. He dreams of buying a pair of Air Jordans in the naïve hope that, once he wears them, his reputation will change. One day, he finally manages to buy a pair with all of his savings, but moments after, a dangerous thug named ‘Flaco’ steals them from him. With his two friends, Brandon goes on a journey through Oakland to get his sneakers back. His bruised ego will lead him to gloomy neighbourhoods where he will cross path with shady gangsters. But one thing is clear in Brandon’s mind: he will find ‘Flaco’ and get his Air Jordans back. Whatever the price to pay is, including his own life.
Justin Tipping’s astonishing debut feature is a combination of drama, thriller, adventure, road movie, and comedy. With colourful visuals, fast-paced sequences and a brilliant soundtrack as present as the rest of the onscreen characters, Kicks is a coming-of-age film portraying criminality in a country where the lower social classes do what they have to do to make a living, whichever side of the tracks they are on. With performances so natural it doesn’t seem like acting, the young actors shine in this feature, alongside the brilliant Oscar-Nominee, Mahershala Ali, in a secondary, yet powerful role very different from the character he plays in Moonlight. Presented at the Tribeca Film Festival and LA Film Festival, Kicks will premiere in Spain at Americana Film Festival.
2016: Tribeca Film Festival – Best Cinematography
2016: Roma Film Festival
2016: Los Angeles Film Festival
Runtime: 80 min
Direction: Justin Tipping
Screenplay: Joshua Beirne-Golden, Justin Tipping
Cinematography: Michael Ragen
OST: Brian Reitzell
Cast: Jahking Guillory, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Christopher Meyer, Mahershala Ali
Subtitles: Sergio Fernández