Six Additional Feature Selections + The Saturday Night Party of the 24th Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank

Surprise! Announcing 6 additional features in the 24th annual Sidewalk Film Festival! Plus keep an eye out, we have a few more surprises to come. Grab those tickets NOW!

 

Sophia

Directed By Jon Kasbe & Crystal Moselle

Documentary

USA

89 Minutes

This stirring and visually immersive documentary brings us inside the spirited pursuits of David Hanson, a restless inventor aiming to perfect the world’s most life-like A.I.

 

 

Spin Me Round

Directed By Jeff Baena

Narrative

104 Minutes

Featuring Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon and Tim Heidecker, a woman wins an all-expenses trip to a company’s gorgeous “institute” outside of Florence, and also the chance to meet the restaurant chain’s wealthy and charismatic owner. She finds a different adventure than the one she imagined.

 

Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way

Documentary

USA

Directed By William T. Horner & Stacey Woelfel

Shout, Life & Liberty

Runtime 98 Mins

The story of Pedro Zamora, the charming young activist who transformed the face of AIDS in America by allowing MTV’s REAL WORLD to chronicle his joy, his influence, and his journey with a disease that would ultimately kill him.

 

Petit Mal

Narrative

Colombia

Directed By Ruth Caudeli

Shout

Runtime 89 Mins

Three young women, Martina, Laia, and Anto, who are in a passionate, throuple see the dynamic of their relationship reshaped when one is called away for a long-term project.

 

A Life on the Farm

Documentary

UK

Directed By Oscar Harding

Runtime 75 Mins

When filmmaker Oscar Harding’s grandfather passed away in the rural English county of Somerset, his family inherited an extraordinary video tape – a feature-length home movie from neighbour Charles Carson, which can best be described as “Monty Python meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.  A LIFE ON THE FARM is an exploration and celebration of Charles Carson and his movies, rescued from obscurity, which present a moving and laugh-out-loud document of a time and place in danger of being lost to history.

 

The Karate Kid Part III (1989)

Narrative

USA

Directed By John G. Avildsen

Family, Rated PG

Runtime 112 Mins

Arguably the most over-the-top (and fun) Karate Kid in the series, Ostracised villain John Kreese attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Miyagi, with the help of a Vietnam War comrade, the wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal business. Part of the Sidewalk Family line-up, kids 12 and under are free! Please note that THE KARATE KID PART III is rated PG by the MPAA.

 

 

Sidewalk’s Saturday Night Roller Disco @ CITYWALK BHAM – 9pm-1am

BYO SKATES! Skate rentals will be on site, but are first-come-first-serve, and availability is limited. Free skate rentals with party pass. Waver required to participate. Cash bar on site.

VIP and Weekend Passholders get FREE admission, drinks, and skate rental.

$25 party passes available at here.

 

The 24th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival will be held Aug. 22-28 in downtown Birmingham’s theatre district.

 

Purchase your passes now at sidewalkfest.com/tix.

The Next 8 Selections for the 24th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank

We are incredibly proud and excited to announce the next 8 titles in the 2022 Sidewalk Film Festival line-up!

 

God’s Creatures

Directed by Saela Davis & Anna Rose Holmer

Narrative

From A24 and the filmmaking team behind 2016 Sidewalk selection The Fits, this simmering psychological drama stars Academy Award nominee Emily Watson, Paul Mescal and Aisling Franciosi. The lives of the residents of a small, isolated fising village in Ireland are shaken when the prodigal son (Mescal) of one of its residents (Watson) returns unexpectedly. As the two re-develop their intense close bond, whispers of an alleged crime threaten to upend their reunion. God’s Creatures explores the collision of maternal bond and female advocacy while also providing a glimpse at a unique part of the world rarely depicted on screen.

 

Jasmine is a Star

Directed by Jo Rochelle

Narrative (Black Lens)

Jasmine is a 16-year-old with big dreams. She wants to make it as a fashion model and influencer, even as the dreary reality of her high school life makes that dream seem unachievable. She wants to make her way independently through the industry, despite her often doting parents’ interference. And she wants to be a voice for Black girls with albinism, like her — though her own shyness sometimes stands in the way. Jasmine is a Star is a beautiful portrait of teenage dreams and the struggles of standing out, and we are proud to share this film as our Black Lens Spotlight selection, to be screened on Thursday, Aug. 25, at the Sidewalk Cinema.

 

Pretty Problems

Directed by Kestrin Pantera

Narrative (Alabama)

Birmingham native Britt Rentschler leads this hilarious comedy of manners, this year’s winner of the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award at SXSW. Rentschler and Michael Tennant star as Lindsay and Jack, a broke middle-class couple stuck firmly in dead-end jobs and dissatisfaction. But after Lindsay has a chance encounter with a wealthy stranger at work, the two are invited to a weekend getaway at a Sonoma Valley home full of booze, drugs and ostentatious wealth. What are their hosts’ motivations? Pretty Problems is a clever and wildly funny socioeconomic satire about the way the other half lives, and how all the money in the world can’t solve one’s dissatisfaction with oneself.

 

Three Minutes — A Lengthening

Directed by Bianca Stigter

Documentary (Life & Liberty)

Three minutes of 16mm film footage, shot in 1938 by an émigré from America, are all that remain of the small village of Nasielsk, Poland. Its roughly 3,000 residents, mostly Jewish, were deported less than a year later — and most were killed in the Treblinka extermination camp. Now, director Bianca Stigter has taken those three minutes and examines them frame by frame in this stunning documentary exploration of memory and history, co-produced by Academy Award winner Steve McQueen.

Trailer

 

Body Parts

Directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan

Documentary

 Following the reckoning of the #MeToo movement, the film and television industry had to reassess many of its traditional and potentially manipulative practices surrounding nude scenes. This lively and entertaining documentary examines the exploitative history of film and TV nudity, how performers have begun to take back their power when filming these scenes, and the push for intimacy coordinators and on-set environments that are fully comfortable and consensual. Note: This film is not yet rated… but it’s a movie about nude scenes, so you do the math.

 

Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids

Directed by Andrew Jenks

Documentary

Who knew that the cuddly Cabbage Patch Kids dolls paved the way for holiday shopping mayhem and Black Friday rioting? This entertaining documentary digs into the rise and fall of Cabbage Patch Kids, from modest origins in Georgia to national hysteria, as the popular toys spawned consumer chaos with desperate parents literally fighting each other to get their hands on the hottest toy around. But behind the innocence of Cabbage Patch Kids lies a darker story of American entrepreneurial greed. Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris.

 

All Man: The International Male Story

Directed by Bryan Darling & Jesse Finley Reed

Documentary (SHOUT)

One of the most influential and beloved mail-order catalogs of the ‘70s and ‘80s, International Male helped define and spread trendy cosmopolitan fashion for men across the country to audiences gay and straight alike. All Man: The International Male Story takes you behind the scenes and showcases its creative directors, fashion models and long-time customers who found style and community in the pages of International Male. And it shows how the wildly successful and influential catalog worked to redefine not only fashion, but American masculinity itself.

Trailer

 

Cat Daddies

Directed by Mye Hoang

Documentary (Family)

 Move over, cat ladies — men are just as wild about their feline companions, and here’s the documentary portrait to prove it. Cat Daddies profiles eight men — influencers, firefighters, stuntmen and long-haul truckers among them — who defy convention and are crazy about their kitties. As 2020 approaches and the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts everyone’s life, cats become a necessary and vital source of stability and comfort — especially in the case of David Giovanni, a former New York construction worker experiencing homelessness who seeks only to care for his beloved cat. If you’re cat-crazy too, Cat Daddies will put a smile on your face and bring a tear to your eye.

Trailer

The 24th annual Sidewalk Film Festival will be held Aug. 22-28 in downtown Birmingham’s theatre district. 

Purchase your passes now at sidewalkfest.com/tix.

Opening Night + 8 Other Selections for the 24th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank

We are thrilled to announce the second batch of titles for the upcoming 24th annual Sidewalk Film Festival, including our opening night selection.

 

OPENING NIGHT SELECTION: Butterfly in the Sky

Directed by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb

Documentary (Alabama, Black Lens)

Birmingham’s own Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb have previously played at Sidewalk with their documentary features GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Jasper Mall, and A Life in Waves, among others. Now, we’re thrilled to open the 24th annual Sidewalk Film Festival with their latest documentary. Butterfly in the Sky is the story of the beloved public television show Reading Rainbow, the product of a committed team of educators and producers who used their platform to instill a love of reading in their young viewers. With long-time host LeVar Burton at the helm, they sought to create a kinder, more curious, and more empathetic generation. Now, those involved reflect on the success of their mission. This behind-the-scenes look at one of the most treasured children’s television series shows how this ragtag crew changed the lives of millions. Butterfly in the Sky recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Join us for the hometown premiere on Friday, Aug. 26, at the Alabama Theatre and stick around for our Opening Night Afterparty, right outside the theater on 3rd Ave. N.

 

The Pez Outlaw

Directed by Amy Bandlien Storkel and Bryan Storkel

Documentary

Now here’s a “true crime” documentary that won’t make you feel terrible about the state of humanity. Bryan Storkel (a Sidewalk regular who also produced opening night selections Butterfly in the Sky and 2018’s White Tide) and Amy Bandlien Storkel direct this wildly entertaining documentary about Steve Glew, a Pez enthusiast who made millions in the collectors’ market by traveling to Europe and acquiring rare Pez variants unattainable in the U.S. But his exploits drew the attention of Pez Candy USA, whose CEO — the “Pezident” — makes it a special mission to shut Glew down. This escalating war of wills and Pez dispensers set the stage for the Storkels’ magnificently bubbly film, as quirky as Glew himself and as sweet as Pez candy.

Trailer

The Third Saturday in October Part V

And

The Third Saturday in October

Directed by Jay Burleson

Narrative (Alabama)

Jay Burleson’s Alabama-shot and -set double feature introduces a new iconic masked murderer in a loving homage to the grimy, cheaply made horror franchises that produced one too many sequels. Despite what you might think, we’ll start with Part V, which finds the murderous and possibly undead Jakkariah Harding slicing and dicing rural Alabama football fans during the weekend of a big college football rivalry. Then we’ll jump back to the “first” film, which shows how Harding claimed his first victims. Burleson and his cast and crew of Sidewalk regulars and local faces have made two charming and affectionate tributes to the slasher franchises of the ‘80s and ‘90s — and if you’re a horror fan, you’ll want to get tickets to both.

 

The Smell of Money

Directed by Shawn Bannon

Documentary (Black Lens, Life & Liberty)

A rural North Carolina community battles a factory-farming conglomerate over the hog waste processing practices that have made daily life unlivable in their homes and polluted their air, land and water. This shocking documentary, exposing some of the foul secrets of corporate farming, develops into a legal David vs. Goliath story, as the predominantly Black residents of this small community band together against one of the largest pork companies in the world. The Smell of Money asks you to consider the human cost of what you put on your plate, and showcases some truly inspiring homegrown activists pushing for a cleaner, nicer-smelling future.

Trailer

 

Chop & Steele

Directed by Ben Steinbauer and Berndt Nader

Documentary (Life & Liberty)

Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett are two guys who have pushed each other into a series of elaborate pranks since they first became friends in grade school. While on tour with their Found Footage Festival — a celebration of weird VHS tapes the two have found over the years at yard sales and thrift shops — Prueher and Pickett amuse themselves by getting booked on local news stations as “experts” in fields they know nothing about. But posing as the hilariously inept strongman duo Chop & Steele (despite, as they point out, not appearing muscular at all) is a bridge too far for one TV station’s parent company, who sues the duo, making their future as comic agents of chaos uncertain. Chop & Steele is a hilarious docu-portrait of the joys of doing stupid stuff with your BFF.

 

Refuge

Directed by Erin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship

Documentary (Life & Liberty)

How do you fix hatred? Chris is a veteran whose wartime trauma led him to a life of white nationalism and a leadership position in the Ku Klux Klan. Heval is a Kurdish refugee working as a physician in the diverse city of Clarkston, Georgia. When Heval reaches out to form an unlikely connection, Chris is forced to reconsider the hollowness of his white supremacist mindset, and in doing so finds greater healing than he might ever have anticipated. The timely Refuge arrives at a moment when divisions in the United States run deeper than in decades. But by following Chris’s path from radicalization to reconciliation, Refuge shows that empathy and love can bridge these divisions.

Trailer

 

Searchers

Directed by Pacho Velez

Documentary

What are we looking for when we’re looking for love? This innovative documentary asks dozens of New Yorkers that question, superimposing the screens of their phones over their faces as they scroll through their dating apps, looking for a partner, fling or soulmate. The result is revealing, comic and wistful — a portrait of people of varying ages, orientations, racial and ethnic backgrounds all searching for a connection.

Trailer

 

SPECIAL EVENT: “Etowah : A Film about Duquette Johnston” followed

by a live performance by Duquette Johnston

Directed by Daniel Fox

Documentary short (Alabama)

Join us at the newly renovated Carver Theatre all weekend for incredible films, including a screening of this new short documentary on Birmingham musician Duquette Johnston and his latest album, “The Social Animals.” Then, stick around for a special live performance from Johnston on the Carver stage. We’re thrilled to host one of Birmingham’s most beloved music artists in the historic 4th Avenue Business District, the hub of our jazz scene and home of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

The 24th annual Sidewalk Film Festival will be held Aug. 22-28 in downtown Birmingham’s theatre district. 

Purchase your passes now at sidewalkfest.com/tix.

 

Announcing the First Nine Official Feature Selections of the 24th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank

We are beyond excited to announce the first nine official feature selections for the 24th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank, to be screened in downtown Birmingham’s theatre district Aug. 22-28.

Take a look, keep an eye out for many incredible film announcements to follow in the coming weeks, and get your Sidewalk 2022 passes today!

 

Mija

Directed by Isabel Castro

Documentary (Life & Liberty)

 

This remarkable documentary from Disney and Nat Geo follows Doris Muñoz, a young Mexican-American woman working as a music talent manager for a hot new artist and providing a key source of income for her undocumented parents and her brother, who has been deported. But as circumstances force her business to evolve, she meets Jacks Haupt, another hungry young artist from a mixed-status family for whom making it in show business isn’t just a dream — it’s a necessity. Part confessional, part crowd-pleaser, Mija shines a light on these first-generation Americans hustling to make it big and give their families a ticket to a better life. 

 

The Automat

Directed by Lisa Hurwitz

Documentary

 

The Automat is a fond remembrance of Horn & Hardart, a more than 100-year-old chain of popular fast food restaurants at which customers would select a menu item from rows of coin-operated windowed compartments and eat their meals at communal tables. For generations, these restaurants were New York fixtures; this documentary interviews many of its most famous former customers, including iconic comedian Mel Brooks and the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Trailer

 

A Walk With Joey

Directed by Dana Lynn Falletta and J. Neil Bloomer

Documentary (Alabama, Life & Liberty)

 

Joey Hale survived a brain tumor at a very young age and defied all odds to mount a recovery, thanks to some needed inspiration from his beloved football team the San Diego Chargers and a close friendship with former Auburn player Lionel “Little Train” James. Now Joey pays it forward to others all around the Birmingham area and beyond, bringing smiles to his customers at Publix and ministry and charity to those less fortunate. A Walk With Joey is a fond portrait of a true Alabama original whose life has touched thousands.

 

The Sun Rises in the East

Directed by Tayo Giwa

Documentary (Black Lens)

 

In 1969 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, prominent Black activists and educators founded The East, a pan-African cultural organization established to enrich the lives of children and promote Black self-determination. This documentary tells its story, as The East grew to include a school, publisher, clothing shop and bookstore — and changed the lives of parents and students alike by giving a neighborhood the tools it needed for empowerment.

Trailer

 

The Thief Collector

Directed by Allison Otto

Documentary

 

In 1985, a priceless painting was cut from its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art and stolen in broad daylight. It resurfaced 32 years later — but you wouldn’t believe me if I told you where it was found. The Thief Collector tells the unbelievable story of a heist with the unlikeliest of perpetrators, examining the complicated motives of its audacious criminals with bubbly flair in a film everyone will be talking about.

Trailer

 

Peace in the Valley

Directed by Tyler Riggs

Narrative

 

A young mother is suddenly widowed when her husband is killed in an act of heroism during a mass shooting incident. The wrenching (and unfortunately constantly) timely drama Peace in the Valley focuses on the aftermath, as the family struggles to rebuild their lives. Anchored by an excellent lead performance from Brit Shaw and Sidewalk fixture Michael Abbott Jr. in a dual role, this sensitive work tries to find meaning in the violent meaninglessness of the new American normal.

 

Funny Pages

Directed by Owen Kline

Narrative

 

A young cartoonist drops out of school to make it on his own in the seedy margins of Trenton, New Jersey, in this dark comedy from A24 and producers Josh and Benny Safdie. The directorial debut of actor Owen Kline, Funny Pages is a grimy and gleefully tasteless look at a subculture of comic book-obsessed young men.

 

The Integrity of Joseph Chambers

Directed by Robert Machoian

Narrative (Alabama)

 

Director Robert Machoian and Alabama’s own Clayne Crawford last collaborated on The Killing of Two Lovers; their latest, shot in Alabama, is another deeply tense thriller about modern masculinity gone awry. Crawford plays the title character, a man fearful of imminent societal collapse who seeks to prove he can make it on his own during a hunting trip. But when things go terribly wrong, Joseph Chambers has to prove his mettle in unexpected ways.

Trailer

 

Good Girl Jane

Directed by Sarah Elizabeth Mintz

Narrative

 

A lonely teenage girl falls in with the wrong crowd in this stunning debut feature from Sarah

Elizabeth Mintz. Rain Spencer stars at the title character, who meets a group of trendy friends

and starts experimenting with drugs in the aftermath of her parents’ divorce. But Jane soon falls under the sway of a charming older man — and things spiral out of control. You may think you know this story, but you’ve never seen it done quite this well. Good Girl Jane won Best Narrative Film and Best Performance for Spencer at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

 

The remaining titles, including our Opening Night selection, will be announced in the coming weeks.

If you haven’t already secured your VIP or Weekend Pass, you can do so now at sidewalkfest.com/tix. Prices increase on July 15!

2021 Sidewalk Film Festival Award Winners

2021 Volunteer of the Year: Amanda Veach-Cook

 

Recipient of the Black Lens Filmmaker Grant sponsored by the Law Firm of Stacey A. Davis: Somica Spratley

 

Sidewrite Awards:

Best Alabama Screenplay: “Perfect By Christmas” by Kimberly Soliman

Best Short Screenplay: “El Vals” by Alycya Magaña

Best Feature Screenplay: “Boundaries” by Asad Farooqui and “Our Brilliant Leaders by Brandon Garner

 

ReelSouth Short Film Award:

Florida Woman” dir. Catie Skipp

 

Best Family Film

The Shocklosers Survive Camp Analog dir. Lee Fanning

 

Best Student Film

In the Weeds” dir. Nick Milczarczyk

 

Best SHOUT Feature

LFG dir. Sean Fine & Andrea Nix

 

Best SHOUT Short

No Man’s Land” dir. Anna Andersen & Gabriella Canal

 

Best Black Lens Feature

The Passing On dir. Nathan Clarke

 

Best Black Lens Short

“Graffica!” dir. Yogi Dada

 

Best Life + Liberty Film

North By Current dir. Angelo Madsen Minax

 

Alan Hunter Best Alabama Film

Socks on Fire dir. Bo McGuire

 

Best Documentary Short

Golden Age Karate” dir. Sindha Agha

 

Best Narrative Short

Burros” dir. Jefferson Stein

 

Best Animated Short

“Clarence of Tomorrow” dir. Shawn Spear

 

Kathryn Tucker Windham Storyteller Award

Leylak” dir. Scott Aharoni & Dennis Latos

 

Best Documentary Feature

The Kids dir. Eddie Martin

 

Jambor-Franklin Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature

The Novice dir. Lauren Hadaway

 

 

Spirit of Sidewalk Award

Dorothy Oliver, “The Panola Project”

 

Audience Choice Awards

Best SHOUT Film: Building a Bridge dir. Evan Mascagni & Shannon Post

Best Black Lens Film: Accepted dir. Dan Chen

Best Alabama Film: “The Panola Project” dir. Rachael DeCruz & Jeremy S. Levine

Best Documentary Short: Not Worth Killing” dir. Eric M. Ivey

Best Narrative Short: Forgive Us” dir. D.W. Hodges

Best Documentary Feature: The Neutral Ground dir. CJ Hunt

Best Narrative Feature: Catch the Fair One dir. Josef Kubota Wladyka

 

Sidewalk Programmers Short Film Award

“Taffy” dir. Jon Crawford

 

Sidewalk Programmers’ Feature Film Award

Television Event dir. Jeff Daniels

 

 

 

Vaccination and COVID-19 Testing Update for the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival

Attention Sidewalk Family!

 

Due to a continued increase in case counts, shrinking hospital beds across our state and a general interest in public health, we will be requiring that all attendees of the 23rd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival event must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test within 48-hours prior to entry to the event (August 23-29, 2021). 

 

  • All fans must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least two weeks after final dose) and provide proof of vaccination; i.e. original vaccination card, copy of vaccination card, picture of vaccination card. Or, have received a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test within 48-hours before entry to any of the Festival Venues and provide proof of negative result.
  • Unvaccinated fans under 12 years of age will be required to take a COVID-19 diagnostic test within 48-hours before entry to the facility and will provide proof of negative result.

HOW TO:

Festival Spotlight Films, Monday, August 23-Thursday, August 26

  1. Arrive at the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema well in advance of your film start time with your vaccine card (or a photocopy or photo) or your negative COVID-19 diagnostic test results (from a healthcare provider, clinic etc..) and present to the Sidewalk greeter. 
  2. The greeter will check your vaccination card to ensure that you are fully vaccinated (that at least two weeks time has passed since your last shot) or your negative test results to make sure that they are less than 48 hours old. 
  3. Once your proof of vaccination/negative test results has been shown, entrance will be granted to the cinema. 

*this process will be repeated for each spotlight night

**You can receive a free rapid test from Birmingham AIDS Outreach

 

Festival Weekend, Friday, August 27- Sunday, August 29

  1. Visit one of our three PUBLIC HEALTH checkpoints located:
    1. outside of our Central Box Office on the corner of 19th St. and 2nd Ave. N. (FRIDAY-SUNDAY)
    2. on the McWane Center Plaza on the corner of 19th St. and 3rd Ave. N.  (FRIDAY-SUNDAY)
    3. on the ASFA Plaza on the corner of 19th St. and Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd (SATURDAY-SUNDAY)
  2. The greeter will check your vaccination card  (or photocopy or photo)to ensure that you are fully vaccinated (that at least two weeks time has passed since your last shot) or your negative test results to make sure that they are less than 48 hours old. 
  3. Once your proof of vaccination/negative test results has been shown, the greeter will place a public health wristband on your wrist which should be worn for the duration of your festival experience. 

*You can receive a free rapid test from Birmingham AIDS Outreach onsite (corner of 3rd Ave. N. & 19th St) Friday from 6pm-11pm or Saturday from 10am-3pm

You will NOT be able to show proof of vaccination/test results at the door of our screening venues during festival weekend, you MUST visit one of our PUBLIC HEALTH checkpoints to have your status verified.

 

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to adapt to the many circumstances of this year’s festival that are beyond our control. 

The 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival Line-up is Here!

We’re excited to announce our opening and closing night selections, special presentations and features for the 23rd edition of the popular and nationally-acclaimed Birmingham-based film festival which will take place August 23-29.

Celebrating our highly anticipated return to theaters and presentation of the unique and special film events Sidewalk is famous for, we will again host nightly themed spotlights culminating in a big weekend for Sidewalk film fans. This year’s Opening Night screening will be Jeff Daniels’ Television Event, and Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe’s The Beta Test will be the Closing Night screening.

Other special events top lining a film festival noted for creatively going beyond the screening of the films to make a greater interactive experience for film fans will be special roundtables and panels built around timely classics, beloved films, and anniversary screenings like Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, John Heyn and Jeff Krulik’s Heavy Metal Parking Lot, and Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise.

We will put more emphasis on music as we screen Chris Columbus’ beloved Mrs. Doubtfire accompanied by a live performance of the film’s score by DJ Hollywood, offer up a Rock n’ Roll Double Feature powered by Mike Plante and Jason Willis’ We Were There to Be There and John Heyn and Jeff Krulik’s Blondie: Vivir En La Habana, and present three very different secret screenings for audiences’ delight.

Rachel Morgan, our Creative Director, says “We are beyond excited to be back downtown for Sidewalk 2021! We believe that we’ve crafted a balanced line-up filled with the best, recent, theatre-worthy indie films spanning all genres, along with the occasional throwback and special event. It’s been quite a couple of years and we think the 23rd annual Sidewalk schedule reflects such in a variety of ways – from provoking thought to celebrating humanity to providing an opportunity for shared commiseration. As always we also have a lot of surprises planned, after all, everyone is overdue for a super fun week (with safety in mind, of course); we hope you’re as excited as we are!”

The themed showcase evenings will begin on Monday with an Alabama Spotlight highlighted by a special program of short films shot and produced in the state or with Alabama as a central theme and focus. Tuesday will be the Life & Liberty Spotlight exemplified by CJ Hunt’s documentary The Neutral Ground which looks at New Orleans’ fight over Confederate monuments and America’s centuries-long relationship with the Lost Cause. Wednesday will shine the Spotlight on Shout, our acclaimed LGBTQ showcase, which will feature a number of shorts including Anna Andersen and Gabriella Canal’s No Man’s Land about a lesbian separatist community in Mentone, Alabama. Thursday puts the focus on the Black Lens Spotlight, including Danny Lyon’s SNCC. In the film, Lyon utilizes his own photos taken in the 60s to look at SNCC, one of the most effective grassroots organizations in American history. Through those photos, audio recordings of the songs and music that drove the movement, and interviews with some of SNCC leaders, he tracks the success of the organization in its fight
against Jim Crow.

Following the themed showcase evenings ramping up to the weekend, the official Opening Night selection on Friday, August 27 will be Jeff Daniels’ documentary Television Event. The film looks at the build up to ABC’s broadcast of The Day After, a made-for-TV movie about the aftermath of a nuclear war on a small Kansas town. The film was watched by more than 100 million viewers, which made it the highest-rated made-for-TV film in history. The landmark cultural event came about following weeks of buildup and controversy extending all the way to a White House in the midst of a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union.

Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe’s The Beta Test will be the Closing Night screening. The horror-comedy follows a married Hollywood agent, who participates in an anonymous sexual encounter after receiving a purple envelope from an unknown person. The encounter leads him down a rabbit hole filled with lies, cheating, and…death at the hands of boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses who have been cheated on.

 

Passes are on sale now, be sure to grab yours here and check out the full online schedule here.

 

Announcing our 2021 Sidewrite Screenplay Competition Finalists and Winners

Announcing the 2021 Sidewrite Screenplay competition finalists and winners!

 

Kimberly Soliman, Alabama Screenplay Contest Winner

Best Alabama Screenplay Winner:

“Perfect By Christmas” by Kimberly Soliman

Best Alabama Screenplay Finalists: 

“Elkhorn” by James Hadley Griffin
“Quarantine 1” by Miles Randall
“Carolina Cruel” by Brandon Sparks
“Sleepover” by Ann Kathleen Williams

 

Alycya Magaña, Short Screenplay Contest Winner

Best Short Screenplay Winner:

“El Vals” by Alycya Magaña

Best Short Screenplay Finalists:

“The Body of Chris” by Erin Brown Thomas
“Death is Only a Stranger Once” by Larry Collins
“Grip” by Madeline Mahoney
“First Days” by Jen Prince

 

 

 

 

Asad Farooqui, Feature Screenplay Contest Winner
Brandon Garner, Feature Screenplay Contest Winner

Best Feature Screenplay Winners:

“Boundaries” by Asad Farooqui and “Our Brilliant Leaders by Brandon Garner

Best Feature Screenplay Finalists:

“Full Court Bonsai” by Andrew Benedict
“Hysteria” by Jenna Payne
“The Last Stage, or Wyatt Earp’s Dying Dream” by Bruce Scivally
“He Hangs Brightly” by Daniel Talbott

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can hear these scripts (full short scripts, just selected scenes from features) at the Sidewrite table read at this year’s festival. Table reads and our other panels are free and open to everyone. Exact timing of panels and table reads will be announced soon. Sidewrite winners also receive a cash prize. We had a record number of submissions this year, so congratulations are in order to all our finalists and winners!

Announcing the 23rd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival Presented by Regions Bank

We are thrilled to announce our annual film festival’s return to Birmingham’s Historic Theatre District August 23-29, 2021.

 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we hosted our 2020 Festival at the Grand River Drive-In and though this provided a safe and fun environment for our Fest, Sidewalk is just not Sidewalk without the sidewalks (and gorgeous historic venues)!

The 23rd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank is returning to its Theatre District roots with a festival footprint that includes the Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema, the Alabama Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, First Church Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre, Recital Hall and Lecture Hall as well as the Steiner Auditorium at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

We acknowledge that the pandemic is not over and as a result, will be working in partnership with each of the venues we rent to ensure filmmaker, audience, volunteer, and staff safety, with limited capacities, social distancing regulations, and other policies as deemed necessary at the time of the Festival.

 

Passes for this year’s Festival go on sale Monday, May 17 at 8 am. 

 

Beyond the exciting news that we are returning to the theatre district, we’re also incredibly excited to announce the Alabama-based documentary SOCKS ON FIRE as the first Official Selection of the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival. The film won the coveted Best Documentary Feature Award at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by Gadsden, Alabama-based filmmaker, Bo McGuire (one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film“), we are honored to host the festive homecoming screening of SOCKS ON FIRE. The screening date and time are TBA.

 

The full Festival line-up will be announced in mid-July.

 

Special thanks to our Sidewalk Heroes!

        

    Stacey & Chance Shirley