Announcing our Spotlight Nights for the 24th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank!
Our Spotlight Nights kick off Festival week (Monday – Thursday, August 22 – 25) and focus on four of our tracks of programming: Alabama Films, Black Lens Films, Life + Liberty Civil and Human Rights Films, and SHOUT, LGBTQ Films. Join us at the Sidewalk Cinema every night at 7:00pm for great films celebrating diverse voices and stories.
ALABAMA SPOTLIGHT NIGHT: ALABAMA SHORTS
Monday, August 22 | 7:00pm
Alabama might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about filmmaking, but the craft is alive and well in the deep south. Sidewalk’s mission is to encourage, inspire, and support filmmaking and the appreciation of independent film in Alabama, and one of the many ways we serve this mission is through the Alabama films track at the festival each year. These are films that were either shot in Alabama, were made by an Alabama-based filmmaker, or utilize Alabama cast and crew- sometimes all three.
Directed by Jahman Ariel Hill, Victoria Hurst
20 minutes • USA
Vanderwaal’s Journey is an amalgamation of horror, scifi, and afrofuturism heavily inspired by Lovecraft Country, Random Acts of Flyness, and Sampa the Great’s Black Atlantis. We follow Vanderwaal, a Black man from Alabama, on a transatlantic voyage to find the cure for both a deadly pandemic-inducing virus and the gentrification of his hometown. On this journey he battles the virus, monsters, white supremacy (aka monsters), and more in a quest that takes him to places he never could have imagined.
The Film Department: Pilot
Directed by Annie Funderburk
9:46 minutes • USA
The Film Department pilot is a comedy mockumentary about a university’s film department gearing up for their famous annual Senior Showcase
No Mean Feet
Directed by Ted Kendrick
8:28 minutes • USA
A hunter tracks the legendary Bigfoot to find the task is no mean feat.
Why Not UAB
Directed by Micheal Atiyeh
9:46 minutes • USA
Why Not UAB is a short documentary that describes the rebirth of UAB Football after it was shut down in 2014 and returned in 2017. The films main focus in the success that the team has had over the last four years.
Preacher’s Pulpits and the Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Directed by Anissa Latham-Brown
9 minutes • USA
Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is known around the world as an iconic piece that captured the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement and outlined critical reasons for activism. But why did King decide that this letter was necessary? Who was he writing to, and how has Martin Luther King Jr’s letter continued to impact Birmingham’s faith communities? This short film blends archival, animation, and documentary interview techniques to investigate.
Love Without Parole
Directed by Greg Womble
26:58 minutes • USA
Michael falls deeply in love and matrimony follows. But married life can be tough when you’re serving a life-without-parole sentence in a notorious Alabama prison. The union soon dies, but the love doesn’t. When Michael is miraculously freed after serving 36 years for relatively minor crimes, will the romance be reignited?
LIFE + LIBERTY CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS SPOTLIGHT NIGHT: BATTLEGROUND
Tuesday, August 23 | 7:00pm
Life + Liberty films focus on historic civil rights events and modern-day human rights issues in the most appropriate of venues – downtown Birmingham, the center of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Now in its eleventh year, the Life + Liberty track was inspired by the growing popularity of documentaries covering these important issues as well as Birmingham’s own place in civil rights history.
Our Life + Liberty night brings a special screening of BATTLEGROUND, an urgently timely window into the intersection of abortion and politics in America, following three women who lead formidable anti-abortion organizations to witness the enormous influence they wield. As the nation faces the end of Roe, the film also depicts those on the front lines of the fierce fight to maintain access. BATTLEGROUND was partially filmed in Alabama and includes Alabamians Jenna King and Samantha Blakely.
SHOUT LGBTQ SPOTLIGHT NIGHT presented by AIDS Alabama: A RUN FOR MORE sponsored by Magic City LGBTQ Health Studies
Wednesday, August 24 | 7:00pm
Launched in 2006, SHOUT showcases features, documentaries, and short films that explore issues and situations involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. SHOUT is Alabama’s first queer film showcase and is proud to support the Magic City’s LGBTQ+ community by advocating for awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of diversity.
Our SHOUT Spotlight Night brings a special screening of A RUN FOR MORE. Growing up, Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe learned to be a fighter, but never imagined having a chance to make history as the first openly elected transgender official in Texas. Unfolding amidst an onslaught of trans legal attacks, A Run for More immerses viewers on Frankie’s journey as she finds her voice, questions her relationship to community, and tries to win an election.
BLACK LENS SPOTLIGHT NIGHT: JASMINE IS A STAR
Thursday, August 25 | 7:00pm
Now in its seventh year, the Black Lens track aims to shine a light on some of the most outstanding feature narrative and documentary films produced by and starring people of color. The films that are shown as a part of this program reflect the diversity of the black experience in America, both past and present.
Our Black Lens Spotlight Night will feature a screening of JASMINE IS A STAR: a determined 16-year-old with albinism makes it her mission to become a professional model in her hometown of Minneapolis, while attempting to go unnoticed in every other aspect of her teenage life.
Our Spotlight Nights are separately ticketed events, $15 for each night. VIP Passholders can add Spotlight Nights onto their Pass for an additional $5.
For more info on tickets and passes, visit sidewalkfest.com/tix.