Coming Distractions: The Bicycle Thief visits modern-day Oakland in the Kicks trailer

Brandon (Jahking Guillory) is a 15-year-old Bay Area kid without much going for him in life. He’s poor, short, unathletic, and (unsurprisingly) severely lacking in confidence. One day, he scrapes together all of his money and self-worth and invests it all in a black-and-red vintage pair of Air Jordans, but the accompanying morale boost is short lived. After a neighborhood bully named Flaco (Kofi Siriboe) boosts the sneakers right off his feet—and uploads the humiliating ordeal to YouTube for ancillary debasement—Brandon embarks on an odyssey through the streets of Oakland to find his Jordans and reclaim his self-respect.

AFI alum Justin Tipping says that his debut feature was highly influenced by Italian neorealism of the 1940s, particularly the work of Vittorio De Sica. “They were telling stories about people on the fringes of society and outcasts and the lower working class, really intimate subjects,” he told Filmmaker …

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