The film opens with a recording of a real-life interview with a graffiti artist from 20 years ago. He tells us that he got within inches of tagging "The Apple", a massive emblem that rises from the ground every time someone hits a home run in the Mets Stadium. Unfortunately he got arrested right before he got his chance at infamy, and we’re informed that in the 20 years since this interview, nobody has managed to make their mark on The Apple. We then shoot forward to today, and we meet Sofia (Tashiana Washington) and Malcolm (Ty Hickson), two young graffiti artists that have decided they want to make their name by, you guessed it, tagging The Apple. We follow these two disenfranchised lawbreakers across two days as they try to make the money needed to bribe an employee at the Mets Stadium who will sneak them in and let them do their thing.

Writer/director Adam Leon uses long, languid takes, allowing the natural talent and charisma of his two young leads to show us around the grimy beauty of their version of New York City. Set during a sweltering summer, Gimme The Loot brings to mind some of Spike Lee’s work, particularly Summer Of Sam. But unlike that movie, Gimme The Loot is more of a feel-good flick, even if we’re in the company of ne’er-do-wells and their illegal wheelings and dealings.

Washington is a terrific actress, completely capable of being simultaneously vulnerable and the toughest girl you’ve ever encountered, more than able to stand her own in the boys' club of graffiti. Hickson is less revelatory, flipping between great and awful acting, sometimes even in the same scene, but you get the feeling that with the right director he could be huge someday. Their (mostly platonic) relationship is perfectly handled, that teenage wasteland where the opposite sex can be your pseudo-sibling one minute and an object of desire the next.

Even with it’s tiny running time, Gimme The Loot is perhaps too comfortable in taking it’s time to be a fully-fledged "hidden gem", but at the very least it's brought the immensely talented Leon, Washington and Hickson to our attention. Can’t wait to see what they do next.