We are thrilled to announce this year’s Sidewalk Film Festival Black Lens Spotlight Night title, The South Got Something to Say, as well as five additional new Black Lens titles!

We’ve already announced a few films from the lineup for the 26th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions (August 19 – 25) and here are six more titles that reflect the diversity of the Black experience in America:

  1. Black Lens Spotlight Night: The South Got Something to Say + Black Lens Lip Sync Battle!

The documentary The South Got Something to Say serves as a nostalgic journey through the evolution of Southern hip-hop, resonating deeply with those who grew up in the 80s and 90s. As highlighted in the Vox ATL review, the film encapsulates the essence of an era, blending good times and challenges while celebrating the transformative power of music. It offers a compelling narrative that reflects on both the hardships and triumphs of Southern artists, showcasing their contributions to a genre that profoundly shaped a generation. Through its curated selection of music and poignant storytelling, the documentary not only educates but also evokes a sense of cultural pride and musical appreciation among its viewers.

– Black Lens Programmer T. Marie King

Our Black Lens Spotlight Night begins August 22 at the Sidewalk Cinema featuring a Happy Hour with The Kickback, The South Got Something to Say screening, and Black Lens Lip Sync Battle! 

Spotlight Nights (August 19 – 22) are ticketed separately and can be added on: $15 each, $5 for VIP Passholders. Buy yours here.

2. Following Harry

Following Harry is more than just a documentary; it is a powerful call to action. It challenges audiences to reflect on the progress made and the work that still lies ahead in the pursuit of social justice. The film is both beautiful and thought-provoking, a testament to Belafonte’s enduring influence and a reminder of the importance of continuing the struggle for a just and equitable world.

– T. Marie King

3. Era Oculta

Era Oculta – “Hidden Era” unfolds in the vibrant city of Maputo, where Rastafari artist Phambi (28) grapples with securing his son’s education amidst the rhythmic beats of Mozambique. Perennially on the brink of expulsion due to payment delays, Phambi’s artistic journey becomes a compelling narrative, showcasing the challenges and triumphs of an artist navigating the unique landscape of Mozambique.

– Director Carlos Vargas

4. A Symphony Celebration: The Blind Boys of Alabama with Dr. Henry Panion III

Gospel’s divine legacy. Immerse yourself in the unforgettable night of gospel music with the captivating Blind Boys of Alabama and conductor Dr. Henry Panion III. Join the Grammy Award-winning artists as they collaborate with an accomplished orchestra, a blended Alabama choir featuring members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

– Screening Committee Member Lisa Provost

5. Fight Like A Girl

Fight Like A Girl tells the story of Safi, a young Congolese woman who is forced to work in the illegal mineral mines after her village is attacked and destroyed. One day she is presented with the opportunity to escape, and successfully does so, but has to live in the streets without any food, shelter, or money. As she makes way for herself, she is introduced to the brash and dynamic world of boxing, where she discovers she has untapped potential and unwavering strength, but also much to learn on her new journey. (Based on true events).

– Screening Committee Member Ariel Smith

6. Commuted

When Danielle Metz’s triple life sentence was commuted, she got a rare chance to regain the life and family that she’d been dreaming about in prison. But back home in New Orleans, she steps into a different reality. Commuted traces Danielle’s journey to find purpose and love, and to confront the wounds of incarceration that linger after release from prison.

– Producer Darcy McKinnon


These six titles (plus our first six women-led and six LGBTQ+ titles we announced) are just a taste of what’s in store for the 26th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival, happening from August 19th to the 25th.

Day Passes + VIP/Weekend Passes are all on sale NOW!

Join us at the Sidewalk Cinema for a (FREE!) SNEAK PEEK of these great titles plus more on July 17 at 7:00pm.

August 19-25, 2024

Sidewalk Film Festival

More info