• Adam Leon (right) with star Ty Hickson. Photo courtesy Getty Images

The low-budget comedy Gimme the Loot was one of my favorite movies to play at the Chicago International Film Festival this year. Like Welcome to Pine Hill, another recent New York indie feature, Adam Leon’s directorial debut exudes a casually inclusive vibe that I find hard to resist. (The lively audiences at the two festival screenings seemed to think so too.) Most of the multiracial cast consists of kids whom Leon found in the Bronx, and much of the movie’s affectionate humor derives from their particular ways of joking and talking shit. Indeed, the slender plot feels like an excuse to spend a few days with the central characters, a couple of teenage graffiti artists who dream of tagging the giant apple in Citi Stadium where the Mets play. Sundance Selects has picked up the movie for theatrical distribution, so you may have another chance to see it here if you missed it at CIFF.

Last week I spoke briefly with Leon while he was in town for the festival. Our conversation follows the jump.