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. The Alabama Film Week (April 18 – 21) series features films that were either shot in Alabama, were made by an Alabama-based filmmaker, or utilize Alabama cast and crew- sometimes all three.

 

NORMA RAE (1979), 4/18 & 4/21

Synopsis: A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.

Sally Field’s performance in NORMA RAE earned numerous awards and accolades for the year 1979, beginning at the Cannes Film Festival and culminating with the Academy Award for Actress in a Leading Role. The film also received the Academy Award for Music (Original Song) for “It Goes Like It Goes” and was nominated in the categories of Best Picture and Best Writing (Screenplay Based on a Material from Another Medium).

Filming Locations: Opelika, AL & Waverly, AL

 

CRISIS: BEHIND A PRESIDENTIAL COMMITMENT (1963)4/19, 4/20 & 4/21

Synopsis: Filmmaker Robert Drew was provided the rare opportunity to watch a President of the United States deal with a national crisis. In this case, the crisis of the title was the attempted integration of the University of Alabama by African-American students by the Kennedy Administration and the machinations of then Governor George Wallace to stop them.

Filming Locations: Birmingham, AL, Huntsville, AL, Montgomery, AL, Tuscaloosa, AL

 

PAYDAY (1973), 4/18

Synopsis: Maury Dann (Rip Torn, in one of his most memorable performances) is a not-so-nice country-Western singer. He ruthlessly manipulates everyone around him to suit his selfish needs…he even gets his limo driver to take the blame for the death of a fan whom he stabbed.

Filming Locations: Selma, AL & Montgomery, AL

 

SHUTTLESWORTH (2022), 4/20

Synopsis: Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was raised in the crucible of segregated Birmingham but he was forged by its attempt to kill him. When the KKK planted a bomb underneath his bed and he emerged unharmed, he was sure he was saved by God to lead a Movement. His work not only ended legal segregation but led directly to the Civil and Voting Rights Acts – and inspired freedom movements around the world. 

Filming locations: Birmingham, AL

 

 

YOU’RE NEXT (2011), 4/19 & 4/21

Synopsis:  When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

Alabama Connection: Adam Wingard is from AL, early films produced in Birmingham, Adam is a multi-year alum, YOU’RE NEXT music by Alabama residents, Kyle McKinnon and Jasper Lee and features Sidewalk alum Ti West, Joe Swanberg, and features numerous other AL cast & crew members. 

 

THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART V / THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER (2022) Double Feature, 4/20

THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART V Synopsis: Follow an implacable killer as he stalks and butchers the occupants of houses across the stretch of one lone country road while the residents prepare to watch a yearly college-football bout.

THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER Synopsis: When a psycho goes on a murderous rampage after surviving a botched execution, only two survivors of his initial attack can stop him.

THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART V will screen first, then THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER.

There will be a Q & A with the filmmaker.

Filming Locations: Elkmont, AL, Athens, AL,  Tanner, AL and Hartselle, AL

 

YELLOWHAMMER/UNA SHORT FILMS, 4/20

Synopsis:  Featuring stand out shorts from Troy State’s YellowHammer Film Festival and The University of North Alabama’s George Lindsey Film Festival. Filmmakers will be in attendance and there will be a Q & A after the screening.

The screening is FREE!

 

SELMA (2014), 4/18 & 4/19

Synopsis: A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Filming Locations: Selma, AL and Montgomery, AL

 

 

Get tickets for all Alabama Film Week titles (and be on the lookout for more surprises) at sidewalkfest.com/programs/alabama-film-week.

August 19-25, 2024

Sidewalk Film Festival

More info