how getting jumped for a pair of nikes inspired tribeca standout ‘kicks’

When Justin Tipping was growing up in the Bay Area, he got the living shit beaten out of him over a pair of custom Nike Prestos. “I was alone in a parking lot at a movie theater that doesn’t exist anymore in West Oakland. I had just got my shoes, borrowed my dad’s car, and thought I was on the top of the world.” Until a group of kids pulled up and began closing in. “When one of them shouted, ‘He’s got the Prestos!’ I realized, ‘Oh shit, this is not gonna end well.'” That violent assault became the springboard for Kicks, the director’s feature-length debut that made its world premiere as the opening film on the US Narrative Competition slate at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Kicks follows 15-year-old Brandon (played by breakout 13-year-old newcomer Jahking Guillory), a shy skater whose low height and lower socioeconomic status make growing up in Oakland a serious struggle. Though his two best friends are supportive, always standing toe-to-toe with their fresh pairs of Jordans doesn’t exactly help Brandon’s confidence. But when a mysterious hood fairy godmother rocks up with a mini van full of Js, Brandon sets his sights on a pair of OG 1s and works tirelessly to cop ’em. Once he does, life changes — he walks taller, girls actually approach him, and he’s treated with respect by his pals and peers — until he gets jacked by a crew with fast cars and big guns. But Brandon refuses to return to his powerless life and its busted sneakers, so he embarks on a quest to steal back his Jordans at any cost. Click Here For Full Story