Solvan “Slick” Naim, whose current work includes a prominent position on Netflix’s “The Get Down,” got his professional start in filmmaking with Bushwick as his backdrop.
“Stanhope” a short film which won Best Film at the NBCUniversal Short Cuts Festival is about a young boy turned assassin who also happens to possess a powerful artistic gift. The charming protagonist named after the Bushwick street (played by Malik Lockett) tells an enthralling first person narrative of his life. For him, illegal activity bubbles just below the surface of a childhood equal parts horrifying and whimsical.
Slick cites a real life story on News 12 Brooklyn as the inspiration for the plot. It took only three months for the story to go from an idea of an opening sequence to a full-blown five day production.
When asked about the difficulties of shooting in Bushwick, Slick hesitated, “The community has always been supportive of my filmmaking.” He cites Tony’s Pizzeria & Restaurant as one of his earliest supporters and a centerpiece location for his feature “Full Circle” which tells the story of a pizza delivery guy who is witness to a drug deal gone bad.
“Full Circle” is available on Netflix if you’re interested in seeing more stories set in the neighborhood told by locals, alternates to some of the more popular offerings in theaters now.
“Stanhope” is a little harder to find. While it is available on HBO and Cinemax on demand, if you’re lucky enough to have your own subscription, it can be found on the Cinemax App. All you need to do is find yourself a username and password.
Slick’s parting advice to young filmmakers: “Don’t wait on financing or actors or crew. You really got to go out and do it.”
Featured image: Still from “Stanhope.” Photo courtesy of SLI Productions.