Sidetalk Panel Discussions

SideTalk panel discussions  and workshops offer unique opportunities for Sidewalk attendees to listen, learn, and ask questions about a range of film and industry topics.  Past SideTalk topics have included “Violence in Media”, ‘Writing for the Screen” and ‘Film Finance” with panelists like Scott Teems (That Evening Sun), Watt Key (Alabama Moon), Michael Paul Stephenson (Best Worst Movie), and Carol Connors (Academy Award Winner, Rocky).


2012 Sidetalks will be held at the Spotlight Lounge- adjacent to the Hill Event Center.  The Spotlight Lounge is the last door on the right in the picture above.

Sidewalk 2012 Sidetalk Panels and Workshops will be held in the Spotlight Lounge (a few doors down from the Alabama Theatre). All Sidetalks are FREE and open to the public. Seating is provided on a first come, first serve basis. 

Sidetalks are sponsored by Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz.

Sidetalks 2012


  • 9:00am- 10:45am: On-Camera Acting Workshop with Birmingham Film Actors Lab
  • 11:00am: Alabama Screenwriting Finalists/Sidewrite Table Read with Birmingham Film Actors Lab
  • 12:00pm: Biographical and Autobiographical Film
  • 1:00pm: Works in Progress
  • 2:00pm: Why You Should Film in Alabama


  • 11:00am: International Screenwriting Finalists/Sidewrite Table Read with the Birmingham Film Actors Lab
  • 12:00pm: Designing the Past
  • 1:00pm: [Shout Panel] It Gets Better: The Cultural Impact of Queer Cinema
  • 2:00pm: Faith in Film

Panel Descriptions

On-Camera Acting Workshop
Birmingham Film Actors Lab and Hollywood Veteran Victor McCay will be hosting an On-Camera Workshop for anyone interested in learning more about the technique and business of film acting.  You will receive in-depth instruction and honest critique as you enhance your abilities and build your confidence by performing on-camera acting exercises.  The perfect opportunity to build a foundation or sharpen your skills.
Sidewrite Table Read: Alabama Finalists
A table read of the top three short screenplays in the Alabama category from our annual Sidewrite Short Screenplay Competition.  Hosted by the talented Birmingham Film Actors Lab.  Alabama finalists: Cobey Cobb, Taylor Merchant, and Carl Edward Orr.
Biographical and Autobiographical Filmmaking
What happens when the filmmaker becomes the subject?  A look into the specific realm of profiles in documentary filmmaking.  We’ll be talking deepsouth, Eating Alabama, and American Man.  Moderated by Tom Neff (The Documentary Channel).
Upcoming Works
Curious what your favorite filmmakers have been up to?  Come see what Zach Clark, Bryan Storkel, and other filmmakers have been working on.  This is the chance to brag to your friends that you got a special sneak peek at projects still in the works.

Why You Should Film in Alabama
Join us for a discussion about the current state of film in Alabama with Alabama State Representative Terri Collins, Chris Roquemore of EMPACT Alabama, and Tommy Fell with the Alabama Film Office.  We’ll be talking about the realities of filming in Alabama, including a look at the new filmmaker tax incentive.  Moderated by Alan Hunter (Sidewalk).

Sidewrite Table Read: International Finalists
The Birmingham Film Actors Lab joins us again for a table read of the top three International screenplays from our Sidewrite Short Screenplay Competition.  International finalists: Cobey Cobb, Sandy Garfunkel, Burleigh Smith.

Designing the Past
What does it take to recreate a scene from the past?  Join Ruth De Jong (Dead Man’s Burden) for a discussion about art direction for period films.  De Jong’s previous credits include period pieces such as Water for Elephants, Tree of Life, and There Will Be Blood.

Shout Panel
It Gets Better: The Cultural Impact of Queer Cinema
LGBT filmmakers discuss the cultural significance of queer cinema and its relevance today, focusing on the impact it has on younger members of the LGBT community and the ways in which it can be used to help educate and inform members of all communities, gay and straight.

Faith in Film
An interfaith discussion about the many ways spirituality is represented on the big screen.  We’ll be talking about this year’s films: Wolf; In Heaven, Underground; and After.  Panel discussion with Dr. Don Sandley (Samford University), Dr. Ed Hurley (South Highland Presbyterian Church), Rabbi Laila Haas (Temple Emanu-El), Ashfaq Taufique (Birmingham Islamic Society), and Ya’Ke Smith (Wolf). Moderated by Dr. Amy Cottrill (BSC).

Questions about panels can be directed to