A new film set in Chicago and produced by a Chicago film company highlights the city’s rich history of street art.
“Tagged” follows a street artist named Lex who gets caught up in a murder investigation after the vape shop owner who hired him to create a mural suddenly disappears. The film was released June 27 by Kernel Productions, a grassroots film production company based in Bucktown.
The film’s writer says he was inspired to release a film about community art after the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed.
“One of the stores across the street from my apartment was boarded up and they commissioned a graffiti artist to paint something temporary,” said Grant Troyer, the film’s executive producer and writer. “And I watched this guy over the span, he must have been crunched for time because he’d wait for the paint to dry and he’d come back over a span of like two days. I thought the dude was done like seven times and he just kept perfecting and perfecting and perfecting and I was like, wow, he’s putting this amount of just work and heart into something that he knows is gonna be down in like a week. I was like, I have to write a story about a graffiti artist.”
The main character Lex is played by up and coming actor Gram Otero Livemore who used to be a tagger himself and is from Chicago.
“Alex, who’s the protagonist of the film, he’s a tagger and he’s been in trouble with the law. I understand that, you know, I’m a felon, grew up in Chicago, I’m a foster kid, an orphan, so I’ve seen like the obvious negative sides to being an orphan and just sort of someone without a home and this is the city where I found myself, where I have my kids, so this is my home and I think Alex is a reflection of who I am, just in someone else’s story,” said Livemore.
“Tagged” is available on Amazon and can be downloaded from kernelproductions.com.