What it's about: "Licks" follows the story of a young man, D, as he returns to his Oakland neighborhood after serving two years in prison for a robbery gone wrong. In the days after his release, we are taken into D’s world while he navigates the harsh realities that plague his inner city community. His judgment is tested by the insidious influences around him, forcing D to decide what direction to take his life.
What would your audience be surprised to know? "When "Licks" began filming, 90% of the cast had never stood in front of a camera. The director, writers, and producers had never worked on a feature film before, or even been on a feature film set. And we pulled it off. It's awesome."
On the biggest challenges on set: "Keeping the creative energy going even when things seemed impossible. Negative energy can spread like a virus so staying positive no matter what obstacles we faced was a must."
On films that inspired him: "KIDS, Breathless, Menace II Society, Chop Shop, Amores Perros, Jungle Fever, Paris Texas, Pulp Fiction, There Will Be Blood, Blade, Mystic River, No Country for Old Men, Sin Nombre, The 5th Element, A History of Violence, True Romance, Cabin Fever, just to name a few."
Indiewire invited SXSW Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.