Former Richmonder "Praheme" Ricks Raising Funds for New Film

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Remember local filmmaker Patrick “Praheme” Ricks? A former Style Weekly Top 40 under 40 winner in 2014, at the time Ricks was known for his confident and semi-autobiographical debut film, "Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions," which was used by the Boy Scouts of America to reach more diverse young recruits.

Well, Ricks has since moved to Los Angeles, where he married and is managing a successful cannabis dispensary. But that doesn’t mean he’s given up his dreams of being a filmmaker.

He tells Style that creatively, he’s served as locations manager on Netflix’s “Burning Sands,” worked as co-director on Black and Sexy TV’s hit web series “Hello Cupid 3.0” and directed a few music videos. He says his proudest work so far was creating “STUCK,” an award-winning short film, made in Richmond in 2017, that stars Javicia Leslie (CW’s Batwoman) and Hari Williams. He says it was “exciting to bring stars to my hometown and show off the city [that] made me who I am.”

A little background: Ricks got into short films at Richmond Community High before attending Howard University, where he made “an underground slave musical and short film about a Black man and a magical bar of soap that turns him white.” Later, he received his master's degree in film production at Florida State University. So what’s he up to now? He’s still got a dream project he’s working on that he told Style about years ago, called “Walking Under the Influence.” Ricks says the film’s premise was conceived in 2013 while he was working on the Muddy Lions film.

The film synopsis sounds like a mixture of a Black "Superbad"and "The Hangover":

Walking Under the Influence is the comedic tale of MARTIN, a mildly depressed college graduate who returns home to live with his parents and takes the first crappy job he can find. When his best friends (Craig and Elliot) come to town to celebrate the 4th of July and lift Martin’s spirits, their plans are interrupted with the announcement of citywide DUI checkpoint. Now inebriated, the three amigos decide to walk to the club with a large bottle of liquor. They quickly discover that life has thrown many obstacles blocking their path to club where DESTINY, Martin’s crush, is waiting with a bevy of beautiful friends. What will one man endure to reach his destiny?

A still from "Walking Under the Influence."
  • A still from "Walking Under the Influence."

“I wanted to tell a story about the awkwardness of graduating from college during a recession and the struggles of stepping into that new chapter of life,” he says. “The uncertainty is something that is relatable to many college and high graduates.” Ricks adds that he is hoping to be able to film in Richmond again but is looking for locations that can help add resources and funding.

To that end, Ricks says they have already raised $75,000 and are making a final push toward $100,000. If you’re interested in supporting his work, you can check out this crowdfunding link: www.gofundme.com/wuifilm

“We only have 23 days to reach the mountaintop,” he says.