The 94th Academy Awards at Sidewalk Cinema from Corey Craft

Corey Craft is Sidewalk’s Lead Features Programmer and co-host of our Sidetalks podcast.

Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards are quickly approaching, and as usual, a few films we played at the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema were in the mix.

The science-fiction epic Dune received 10 nominations — second only to Jane Campion’s psychosexual Western The Power of the Dog, which received 12. You may have seen director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel at Sidewalk back in October. Hopefully, you saw it on a big screen somewhere; its unparalleled (and Oscar-nominated) cinematography, visual effects, and sound add up to a grand spectacle particularly designed for theaters.

Did you catch Drive My Car back in January? The tender Japanese drama from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi is an unexpected contender in the best picture race. Despite coming from a small distributor (the fantastic folks at Janus Films) without the big advertising dollars the studios have, and largely based on excellent word of mouth from critics and audiences, Drive My Car became the first Japanese film nominated for best picture, and Hamaguchi the first Japanese director to contend for best director since the great Akira Kurosawa was nominated in 1985 for his King Lear adaptation Ran.

Speaking of Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Macbeth was a popular ticket at Sidewalk in January, and Denzel Washington is now an Oscar nominee for his thunderous lead performance in Joel Coen’s brilliant reimagining. This is Washington’s 10th Oscar nomination. But receiving her first is Kristen Stewart, so gripping as a tormented Princess Diana in Spencer. We played director Pablo Larrain’s biopic-as-psychological-thriller back in November, where its unpredictable story was particularly captivating on the big screen.

And you may have caught two of the year’s biggest documentaries at Sidewalk. Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), director Questlove’s brilliant music documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, was a popular selection at the cinema and the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival, where it played in the beautiful Lyric Theatre. And we just closed our run of Flee, the innovative animated documentary that tells the story of a gay Afghan refugee’s coming of age. Flee popped up as a nominee in the categories of best-animated feature, best international feature, and best documentary feature — a historic hat trick.

Finally, best international feature and best original screenplay nominee The Worst Person in the World. The charming and inventive Norwegian romantic comedy, one of the most surprising films of 2021 played as part of our Women In Film Week.

Join us at Sidewalk on Sunday, March 27, to watch the Academy Awards! We’ll be hosting a watch party along with a FREE, LIVE Academy-Award Edition Podcast recording of Sidetalks, the official, film-centric podcast of  Sidewalk Film. RSVP here. 

Women In Film Week Returns to the Sidewalk Cinema

Women in the film industry are grossly underrepresented (and undercompensated). In 2020, 78.9% of movie directors of theatrical films were male and as recently as 2014 a disgusting 95.7% of theatrical movie directors were men. And yet, look at the list of amazing films directed by women in just the past couple of years: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, NOMADLAND, ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, CODA, THE LOST DAUGHTER, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, THE POWER OF THE DOG and ZOLA! That’s just to name a few.

These statistics don’t surprise me, when I was in film school at The Savannah College of Art and Design (acknowledging that’s been more than a minute), I was one of only 6 female film majors out of over 200. The women in the program were, by far, the hardest working, the most passionate and, dare I say, produced the best work in the department (well except for Pam). Considering the statistics, the history and the barriers to entry (a whole other story), it’s no surprise that the average trip to the theater doesn’t include a ton of options for seeing movies led by female filmmakers. At the Sidewalk Cinema, we work to consistently highlight work by underrepresented filmmakers. For National Women’s History Month, Sidewalk presents a full week of programming celebrating just some of the most brilliant recent work by female filmmakers, as well as several exceptional repertoire selections.

Pointing out a few of the brilliant options in the Women In Film Week line-up:

Don’t miss the chance to see Academy Award nominee THE POWER OF THE DOG on the big screen, directed by Jane Campion (the first woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director twice) and featuring glorious cinematography by female director of photography, Ari Wegner. THE POWER OF THE DOG has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards.

Written and directed by Joanna Hogg and starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton, we’re honored to include THE SOUVENIR and THE SOUVENIR PART II in the Women In Film Week series. Both films are semi-autobiographical accounts of Hogg’s London film school experiences. In a meta fashion typical of Swinton, Hogg and Tilda Swinton have known each other since Hogg’s mid-1980s film school days and her short student film, CAPRICE, starred a then-unknown Tilda Swinton.

We’re incredibly excited about the opportunity to celebrate female friendship with the fun Friday night double feature of GIRLS TRIP and BRIDESMAIDS (with bottomless champagne)! Written by Erica Rivinoja, Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver, GIRLS TRIP is the first film written, produced, directed, and starring Black creators and actors to cross the $100-million mark. While female-led comedies are consistently considered risky financial endeavors, BRIDESMAIDS is the most financially successful Judd Apatow production. Written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the film was a game-changer regarding the successful financing of future female-led comedies. It’s also really fun to watch while considering this: Melissa McCarthy based the look and characterization of Megan on Guy Fieri.

Highlighting the work of the legendary Polly Platt, who was never provided the opportunity to direct (or at least has never been credited as such), we’re offering a Polly Platt double feature with two of her most indelible contributions to production design, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK. Many claim that, while married to Peter Bogdonavich, Platt was actually responsible for the directorial vision of his early work, including THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and PAPER MOON, and that such explains the nosedive Bogdonavich’s post-Platt filmwork took. Beyond her contribution as a writer, producer, and director, Platt was known for being the driving force behind getting numerous iconic films made, as well as for the elements that made them truly iconic. Oh, and she’s also responsible for THE SIMPSONS. Consistently overshadowed throughout her career, we’re excited to shine a light on Polly Platt’s visionary work. For more on the incredible life of Polly Platt, it’s highly encouraged to pre-game the double feature by listening to the wonderful YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS podcast mini-series. “POLLY PLATT: THE INVISIBLE WOMAN.”

Plus there’s: THE RESCUE, from the directors of Academy Award-winning FREE SOLO, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, and Jimmy Chin. The documentary traces the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue mission that saved a football team from an underwater cave. JULIA, the amazing Julia Child biographical documentary directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. LADY BUDS the documentary that tells the story of “six courageous women who come out of the shadows of the cannabis underground to forge a path to legalization”, directed by Chris J. Russo. WHO WE ARE: A CHRONICLE OF RACISM IN AMERICA that interweaves archival footage and interviews, along with former ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jeffery Robinson’s personal story, to explore the legacy of white supremacy in the U.S. and the responsibility to overcome it, directed by sisters Emily and Sarah Kunstler. The Women Adventure Film Tour features outdoor short films focused on female adventurers. The Sundance premiere, PASSING, Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut, based on the novel of the same name… and more!

Join us at Sidewalk for Women In Film Week to celebrate just a tiny selection of the enormous contributions made by women in the film industry despite the odds. Then join us throughout the year to celebrate the brilliant work of female filmmakers that we frequently spotlight.


Happy National Women’s History Month!


Rachel Morgan
  Sidewalk Film Creative Director

Black Lens Film Week Programming from T. Marie King

T. Marie King is Sidewalk’s Lead Shorts Programmer and Black Lens Programmer.

Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by the world of cinema and film. Exploring different art forms has always been my favorite thing to do. Watching the Muppets, other children and the Hollywood elite on-screen became the most important outlet of my young world. And even though initially I enjoyed watching Beetlejuice, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids, I still missed seeing myself reflected on screen. Then as a teenager, I discovered a new genre, and I became obsessed with creators like John Singleton, Spike Lee, and Robert Townsend. Their diverse storytelling methods displayed the beauty and complexity of the Black American experience. I could feel myself growing, expanding, and evolving as I watched Coming to America, Poetic Justice, and Moonlight. The Black American experience of coming of age, searching for identity, or searching for love is just as universal as anyone else’s story but no one can understand it or tell it better than we can. 


Black Lens Film Week is presented by AIDS Alabama

This year’s Black Lens Film Week will spotlight the history, skills, talent, vision, and unique creativity within the Black community. During the week you will see a diverse set of films that are guaranteed to make you laugh, bring tears to your eyes, and hopefully challenge you to see your neighbor just a little bit more than before. 


Ever been in love to the point you lose yourself and one day you look up and think, what the hell am I doing? I have. We’re kicking off the week with Love Jones and Diary of a Mad Black Woman as a part of the Kiss ‘Em or Diss ‘Em Valentines Day Spectacular sponsored by Korbel. Each ticket comes with special goodies including a free drink ticket and popcorn.

Love Jones gives us a modern 90’s look at an arts renaissance community with professionals searching and fighting for love. What happens when you lose it all? You return to what you know, the family that loves you, and as you heal the love you deserve finds you. Diary of a Mad Black Woman is the drama and comedy you need on Valentine’s Day.


A Soldier’s Story takes a look at racism and segregation in the army and the difficulty of being a Black officer in the military at the time of Jim Crow. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest films ever; amazingly cast and masterfully crafted.


Mama Gloria shines a light on an icon that began breaking barriers long before Stonewall. From blazing trails to giving back to her community, Gloria Allen displays the humanity we all need in our life. Mama Gloria is sponsored by The VAL Group.


Black Lens Shorts Showcase is an opportunity to highlight the talent of new and young storytellers in and around the Birmingham community. 


You don’t want to miss Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip. One of the greatest comics to ever do it humorously shares stories of his life and an impactful trip to Africa that gives us a peek into a more mature comic. Remember it’s rated R for Richard. 


Citizen Ashe is a beautiful portrait of a man who broke barriers in the tennis world on his own terms. His journey of fighting to be respected in the tennis community as well as his advocacy for AIDS reminds us of the kind of human we should all strive to be.


What’s better than a live concert? The recording of that concert. Okay, maybe not but WattStax captures the Watts Summer Festival from 1972 as artists from the Black community remember the Watts Riots. If you’re a fan of ol’ school music like I am, come and jam with us. WattStax is sponsored by Four Corners Gallery.


In The Letter, we see that family drama can touch anyone, even a 95-year-old grandmother. When accusations start circulating through her community, we see the strength of a woman who knows who she is. I’m excited to share this international film with you. 


Lil Nas X had everyone line dancing to “Old Town Road” as he climbed the charts and carved his place not only in society but in history. I love it when people take their destiny into their own hands and unapologetically be who they are. Lil Nas X: Unlikely Cowboy is a film you don’t want to miss. 


Oprah Winfrey: Fight for a Better Life, well it’s Oprah. Am I the only one who hears the 80s theme song from the Oprah Winfrey Show in my head when I hear the name? I know I’m not the only one. Whether you love her or not, she has solidified her place in history. With a successful talk show running for 25 years, multiple writing and producing credits, her own network (OWN), and much more, the Oprah Effect has impacted millions of people. This is your chance to see her story like never before. Oprah Winfrey: Fight for a Better Life is sponsored by Prosper Bham.


We have a powerful collection of films for the inaugural Black Lens Film Week. See you there! – T

Get tickets at


Kiss ‘Em or Diss ‘Em Valentines Spectacular Returns to the Sidewalk Cinema

Sidewalk returns with its legendary Kiss ‘Em or Diss ‘Em Valentine’s Spectacular!

Spread over three days, this Valentine + Anti-Valentine event has something for everyone.


On Saturday, Feb. 12th we’re kicking things off Diss ‘Em title MAD MAX FURY ROAD (2015) at 7:00 pm and Kiss ‘Em title HAROLD & MAUDE (1971) at 7:15 pm.

Later in the evening, we’re hosting Valentine’s Gay with titles BOUND (1996) at 10:00 pm and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005) at 10:15 pm.


Sunday, Feb. 13th we have earlier showtimes with MAD MAX FURY ROAD (2015) at 5:00 pm and Kiss ‘Em title HAROLD & MAUDE (1971) at 5:15 pm. Then later with Valentine’s Gay titles BOUND (1996) at 8:00 pm and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005) at 8:15 pm.


Valentine’s Day proper this year falls on the opening day of Sidewalk’s Black Lens Film Week – a week that shines a light on some of the most outstanding and longstanding narrative and documentary films by above-the-line black filmmakers. So join us this Valentine’s Day for Kiss ‘Em or Diss ‘Em: Black Love edition with LOVE JONES (1997) at 7:00 pm and DIARY OF A MAD, BLACK WOMAN (2005) at 7:15 pm.


Sidewalk is always looking for the perfect excuse to throw a party and the overlap of Valentine’s and Black Lens week means we’re really going to be pulling out all the red and pink stops – all 3 days include astrology readings, hand-crafted jewelry (including forever bracelets by Lisa Ayers from Mythic Metal), photo ops, festive drink specials and more – as you know, we think film is best when it’s experiential. So, rest up, mask up and prepare to be Sidewalk valentined.


Tickets are $30 per person and include one ticket to the film of your choice, one drink ticket redeemable for a glass of Korbel Champagne (if you’re 21+, a large soda of choice if not), one small popcorn, and a super special sidewalk surprise.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Have a ’90s Holiday at Sidewalk Cinema

‘Twas the 1990s’ and all through the decade we liked our malls facing inward and our holiday movies moody and enigmatic. So this holiday season we’re celebrating the decade that brought us Euro Disney and sheep cloning with a truss of 90s’ holiday not-so-classics. While a couple of dudes are standing in front of the Alabama Theatre having the age-old argument “is Die Hard a Christmas film” (child’s play!) we’re around the corner tripling down, giving you  BATMAN RETURNS (1992), THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993) and EYES WIDE SHUT (1999). For those that can’t handle the recently popular global theme of uncertainty in their holiday film fare this season, we also present the Angel Denzel in THE PREACHER’S WIFE (1996). After all, your favorite programming team isn’t totally nihilistic. We love all of these films for different reasons, from the glorious cinematography in Kubrick’s last film (we can argue A.I. later) to the iconic world creation of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. So grab a festive cocktail or hot chocolate from the Cinema bar and enjoy Danny DeVito’s weird little penguin body, Tom Cruise getting his steps in and his ego battered, the glorious villainy of Oogie Boogie, and Whitney Houston falling in love with an angel. To quote Taylor Swift, ’tis the damn season. 
– Rachel Morgan, Sidewalk Creative Director
A little more about the films:
The monstrous Penguin, who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck during the holiday season to topple the Batman once and for all. But when Shreck’s timid assistant, Selina Kyle, finds out, and Shreck tries to kill her, she is transformed into the sexy Catwoman. She teams up with the Penguin and Shreck to destroy Batman, but sparks fly unexpectedly when she confronts the caped crusader.
BATMAN RETURNS is the first film made in Dolby Digital. It is incredibly referential regarding 1920’s German horror cinema. Christopher Walken’s character is named for German horror actor Max Schreck, best known for playing Count Orlock in NOSFERTU (1922), and the wardrobe and overall aesthetic of the Penguin, as well as much of the scenery and set design, are based on THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920). A fun thing to look out for: one of the photographs in Max Schreck’s office depicts him with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who later played Mr. Freeze in BATMAN & ROBIN (1997).
Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.
The film is based on a three-page poem that Tim Burton wrote while he was a Disney animator in the early 80s. Burton claims he took inspiration from television specials RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (1964) and HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! (1966). Two new pieces of animation equipment were invented during the production of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. A “light alarm” warns animators if any of the stage lights failed to come on and a system that enables seamlessly switching to a replacement puppet should one break during a shot. The movie took a group of around 100 people three years to complete – for one second of the film, up to 12 stop-motion moves had to be made.
A cleric begins to doubt himself and is visited by an angel. The heavenly emissary is supposed to help the good reverend over his midlife crisis, but he is distracted by the cleric’s lovely young wife.
THE PREACHER’S WIFE is a remake of The Bishop’s Wife (1947), starring Cary Grant. Denzel Washington begged Whitney Houston for a year to star in the film until she finally agreed – Houston felt that she couldn’t relate to the character and would be uncomfortable dressed as a middle-class housewife. She later revealed on The Oprah Winfrey Show that her cocaine habit was at an all-time high (pun intended) while shooting THE PREACHER’S WIFE and that there was never a day on set that she didn’t do at least some drugs. Not an in-the-holiday-spirit enough fact for you? Here you go: during filming THE PREACHER’S WIFE, a church a block away from the set caught on fire and a crew member saved a four-year-old child. Something to watch out for: Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston appears in the film, singing with the Georgia Mass Choir.
On the heels of a holiday party, a Manhattan doctor embarks on a bizarre, night-long odyssey after his wife’s admission of unfulfilled longing.
Director Stanley Kubrick died just four days after submitting the final cut of the film to Warner Bros. Shot in London, for New York, EYES WIDE SHUT is in the Guinness Book of Records for “The Longest Constant Movie Shoot”, at 400 days – long enough for Cruise and Kidman’s children to acquire British accents.
Happy Holidays! See you at the movies!

2021 Oscar Nominated Shorts at the Sidewalk Cinema

With Oscar season upon us, it is time to celebrate the best of the year’s cinema and catch up on the nominated films. Sidewalk will be presenting multiple screenings of all three categories of the 2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films beginning on Friday, April 2.

Each block of shorts (live-action, animated, and documentary) requires a separate ticket. Tickets are available now at


Rated R
Total Run Time: 130 minutes

USA, 19 minutes
A late-night encounter on a New York City street leads to a profound connection between a teen-in-need and a deaf-blind man.

USA, 33 minutes
When a corrections officer is transferred to the letter room, he soon finds himself enmeshed in a prisoner’s deeply
private life.

25 minutes
On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

USA, 25 minutes
In TWO DISTANT STRANGERS cartoonist Carter James’ repeated attempts to get home to his dog are thwarted by a recurring deadly encounter that forces him to re-live the same awful day over and over again.


21 minutes
A man finds his stolen bicycle, which now belongs to a stranger. While attempting to retrieve it, he struggles to
remain human.

Rated PG-13
Total Run Time: 99 minutes

BURROW (USA, 6 minutes)
A young rabbit embarks on a journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she’s doing.
Rather than reveal to her neighbors her imperfections, she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble.

GENIUS LOCI (FRANCE, 16 minutes)
One night, Reine, a young loner, sees among the urban chaos a moving oneness that seems alive, like some sort of

Grieving parents struggle with the loss of their daughter after a school shooting. An elegy on grief.

OPERA is a massive 8K size animation installation project which portrays our society and history, which is filled with
beauty and absurdity.

One morning an eclectic mix of people face the everyday battle, such as work, school and dish-washing. As the day progresses, their relationships are tested and ultimately their capacity to cope.

Three additional animated shorts are included in this shorts program:
KAPAEMAHU (USA, 7 minutes)
TO GERARD (USA, 8 minutes)

Rated R
Total Run Time: 136 minutes

USA, 13 minutes
A virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim
Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

USA, 19 minutes
A dreamlike portrait of a vibrant 15-year-old-girl whose shooting death sparks the 1992 L.A. Riots.

Resistance took courage in Nazi-occupied France. 75 years later, facing one’s ghosts may take even more.

USA/NORWAY, 20 minutes
The story of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, told through a series of demonstrations by local protestors that escalate
into conflict when highly armed police appear on the scene.

USA, 40 minutes
Filmed from inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in Yemen, HUNGER WARD documents two
female health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war.


Please visit to purchase tickets online. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For a full list of Sidewalk’s health and safety protocols, please visit

‘Tis the Season at Sidewalk – Holiday Film Recs

While we have several incredible films screening this holiday season at the Sidewalk Cinema, including GREMLINS and WONDER WOMAN 1984 (releasing on Christmas Day – we’re beyond excited), thanks to the pandemic we aren’t hosting a full holiday series line-up this season. Therefore, I thought I’d pass along a list of suggestions for holiday movie fare, especially for those who are quarantining to be with friends/fam or can’t make it out to the cinema this season. Perhaps some of these titles will end up in the Sidewalk 2021 holiday series (fingers crossed – they’ve been that way for a while). 

Happy Holidays and here’s hoping for a much Happier New Year!


Quick note: Skipping over the most obvious choices like HOME ALONE, DIE HARD, CHRISTMAS VACATION, A CHRISTMAS STORY, Etc… they’re all great, but they get enough love. 


Dir. Marek Kanievska 

Filled with over-the-top Los Angeles holiday parties of all varieties, college-aged angst, rich people probs and lots of cocaine, LESS THAN ZERO is an 80s’ time capsule based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Plus it features the sleaziest James Spader of all eras.



Dir. Billy Wilder

A Christmas Eve office party sets the narrative in motion and takes it through New Years’. The main premise: to climb the corporate ladder, Bud lets his managers switch off borrowing his apartment for their extramarital affairs. Unable to occupy his own apartment when in such use, his neighbors assume that Bud is the playboy. Antics and romance ensue. 



Dir. Tim Burton

Superhero holiday! You know the one – the Michael Keaton Batman, white gold Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman Batman. It’s the typically dark and gritty and city Batman, but with the magical glow of Christmas lights elevating the vibe. There’s a lot of Christmas in this one, sometimes it’s creepy Christmas, but as 2020 has really proven, the holidays can be like that. 



Dir. Jim Henson

This is about as family-friendly as it gets. Clearly more of a made-for-TV-special than a true film, it’s still worthy enough to make the list. I love it for many reasons, but on top of that tally lands the Riverbottom Nightmare Band, the traveling fish in a tank, plus those sets! EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS is Jim Henson produced-directed with songs by Paul Williams. The original special featured an introduction, as well as some narration, by Kermit the Frog. However, in 2004 The Jim Henson Company sold the rights to the Muppets to The Walt Disney Company, and thanks to Disney doing what Disney does, Kermit’s scenes and narrations have been omitted. Some subsequent releases have restated much of the Kermit element, it’s fun to watch out for the different versions. Confession – even as a kid I really wanted Riverbottom Nightmare to win – fair is fair, they’re way better.


GO (1999)

Dir. Doug Liman

It doesn’t necessarily have to be good to make this list… This premise alone will do it: a 90s’ era drug deal goes bad at a Christmas Eve rave called Mary Christmas. A.Christmas.Eve.Rave.



Dir. Tim Burton

Another Tim Burton holiday moment. Not wholly a holiday film, but the last third of the movie really hits it out of the park with its most memorable visual moments – the cinematography basks in a snow-covered holiday glow, it’s a little like being inside a slightly eerie, but beautifully magical snow globe.  



Dir. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

More fantastical holiday cinema, this brilliant Coen Brothers film takes place during the Christmas season leading up to New Year’s Eve and, of course, is all about the invention of a particular toy – the hula hoop. Fun casting fact: Tom Cruise was almost set to star as Norville Barnes, but the Coens insisted on Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh won the role of Amy Archer over Ellen Barkin, Nicole Kidman, Winona Ryder, and Bridget Fonda. THE HUDSUCKER PROXY is the only PG-rated movie directed by the Coen Brothers. 



Dir. Richard Donner

Action-heavy and, at times, dark af – the film opens with “Jingle Bell Rock” playing happily over credits and quickly moves to suicide, a cocaine bust that results in a full-on shoot out at a Christmas tree lot and widower cop, Martin, with a gun in his mouth ready to end it. Amazing premise – a suicidal cop who’s not afraid to die. At the time thought to only be worthy of action fodder, the suicide scene landed Mel Gibson the lead role in Franco Zeffirelli’s HAMLET (1990). 



Dir. Stanley Kubrick

Leave it to Stanley Kubrick to bring us one of the darkest films on the list and that’s saying a lot. A Christmas party gone wrong leads to marital confessions and a wandering, contemplative late night on the town. The socially distanced tail end of 2020 is an interesting moment to revisit this one – framed by random human interactions and anonymous sexual encounters with the holidays as the backdrop, the context of the current era really doubles down on Kubrick’s powerful subtext. 


BRAZIL (1985)

Dir. Terry Gilliam

If you’re looking for something way, way different than the average holiday film slate, BRAZIL is a great choice. It’s dystopian, sci-fi fantasy, black-comedy holiday, and visually off the damn charts. River Phoenix’s favorite movie.



Dir. Zach Clark

More cocaine Christmas… a holiday tragedy in suburban Virginia leads Suzanne on a mission of sorts to buy herself out of unhappiness and track down and befriend her newly deceased husband’s dancer-mistress, Fantasia. Starring Sidewalk alums Lydia Hyslop, Anna Margaret Hollyman, and Melodie Sisk, WHITE REINDEER delivers more Christmas spirit than you might think. One of the few holiday films to screen at the Sidewalk Film Festival, specifically Sidewalk 2013.



Dir. W. S. Van Dyke

Another rarity – a Christmas murder mystery. Nick, a retired detective, and his wealthy wife, Nora, are visiting New York City from Los Angeles for the Christmas holidays. The festive celebration doesn’t last long as Nick is pulled back to duty to investigate a missing person case that quickly turns into a murder case. Not only is it a black and white comedy-murder caper set against the background of the holidays in 1930s New York, but it also contains lines such as Nora: “They say you were shot in the tabloids.” Nick: “They never got near my tabloids”. There’s also a cute dog. 



Dir. Ernst Lubitsch

We had you at YOU’VE GOT MAIL is an adaptation of THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER. In line with such – with Christmas approaching, two gift shop employees can’t stand each other, but are totally smitten with their respective pen pals… you see where this is going. 


ROCKY IV (1985)

Dir. Sylvester Stallone

Another rare option – a Christmas-Sports movie with Boxing, anti-Russian propaganda, the Cold War, and Dolph Lundgren and Brigitte Nielsen…  2020 seems like the perfect year for this one. Written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone, it also features a robot dressed as Santa Claus


Selects From The 2019 Sidewalk Cinema Holiday Series



Dir. Douglas Sirk

We screened this beautiful mf last December. More vibe than strict holiday fare, the Douglas Sirk masterwork ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS is the story of a well-to-do widower, Cary Scott, who falls for the not-so-well-to-do hunk Ron Kirby. Cary’s college-age kids are brats and demand that the relationship ends. No surprise, the country club crowd isn’t too kind either. In addition to several beautifully captured holiday scenes, what better a season to question societal norms and acknowledge just what a pain in the ass family can be? Plus Technicolor has never looked so damn good, dozens of frames from the film also work just as well as paintings. ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS perfectly captures the seasonal spirit and holiday landscape with all of the wonder, sadness, melodrama, and beauty that it brings. 



Dir. John Landis

Do you ever feel like the 1 percent are gambling with your livelihood? In 1983, director John Landis made a comedy that suggests that it might not be entirely just paranoia. In TRADING PLACES, Dan Aykroyd’s uptight stockbroker and Eddie Murphy’s streetwise hustler swap lots in life one holiday season, thanks to manipulation by the wealthy Duke brothers. But when the two find their lives have been experimented upon, they team up with Jamie Lee Curtis’s free-spirited sex worker to bring the wealthy brothers down. Filled with quotable one-liners, memorable performances, and deeply silly screwball action, TRADING PLACES stands still as one of the most enjoyable “Saturday Night Live” star vehicles, cementing Murphy’s status as one of the most important stars of the 1980s.


CAROL (2015)

Dir. Todd Haynes

Words do no justice regarding this perfect film. it’s unforgettable, gorgeous, mesmerizing… – like the holidays, it’s at times fun and beautiful while also semi-melancholic and yet strangely hopeful. It also has an interesting drunken effect like the season can sometimes have and sort of stays with you for a while in a dreamy fashion. It’s truly dazzling. Plus we appreciate an LGBTQ holiday film!



Dir. Sean Baker

Speaking of LGBTQ holiday fare – celebrate the holidays with two magnetic transgender sex workers in Sean Baker’s marvelously warm and propulsive TANGERINE set on and around the streets of Hollywood one sunny Christmas eve. An uncontrollable force of nature, Sin-Dee gets out of jail and catches word that her boyfriend, Chester has been cheating on her. Despite her closest friend, Alexandra, warning her to relax, Sin-Dee goes on a Hollywood rampage to find the woman her boyfriend has been seeing. Baker shot the entire film on the iPhone 5S; each frame is soaked in the vivid colors of a LA sunset. The result is an intimate and raw but lovely story about friendship and grace in a subculture that, in the past, has rarely gotten such a humane portrayal. TANGERINE is an energy-packed powerhouse of a film. 



Dir. Bob Clark

Christmas-sorority-house-stalking-killer stuff! This 1974 cult classic stars Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey. Oh and, yes, it is directed by that Bob Clark, the same dude who directed A CHRISTMAS STORY (and PORKY’S). After all, we sometimes need a little break from all the Christmas time life-lesson yarn.



Dir. Henry Winkler

Dolly. Do we need to say more? No, we don’t. Dolly IS Christmas and she’s also saving all of us – celebrate her. A SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS

is directed by Henry Winkler aka The Fonz. 




Bonus – It’s Not A Film & It Has Thanksgiving In The Title But…



Dir. Lady Gaga

A VERY GAGA THANKSGIVING makes for incredible holiday background media wallpaper. It originally aired on November 24, 2011, and is lush and classy and seasonally appropriate as hell. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta AKA Lady Gaga hangs out in various gorgeous settings with friends and family and discusses her holiday traditions and inspirations and, of course, performs some uniquely arranged versions of some of her hits, as well as holiday standards like “White Christmas” and not-so-standards like “Orange Colored Sky”. The set design is absolutely incredible and it’s, overall, a lovely production perfect for distracted holiday time viewing/listening. 


– Rachel Morgan

Creative Director

Halloween Series at the Sidewalk Cinema

Rachel Morgan, Sidewalk’s Creative Director, brings you the films of the 2020 Sidewalk Cinema Halloween Series Presented by Senator Bones.


“It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Halloween season! Okay so there’s a pandemic, winter is coming, it’s the most aggressive election year ever, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and things are straight-up weird – I kept all this in mind while programming our micro Halloween series this year – how could I not. Therefore, I landed on four titles that support, confront, and/or challenge concepts related to normalcy. Here are a few thoughts on the titles and the selection process.

The Halloween staple PRACTICAL MAGIC straight up embodies the deep fall – it delivers comforting familiarity in a disarming era. Plus, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, midnight margaritas, witchy b.s., kitchen dancing, and hyper 90’s vibes. Fun fact to watch for: in the scene in which Gillian and Sally get drunk with their aunts, the actors actually did get drunk… via full on bottom shelf tequila that Nicole Kidman brought to set.

POLTERGEIST is in my top 10 all-time-favorite horror films and in my top 20 – period. The (not-so-subtle) subtext: capitalism doesn’t lead to true happiness, it’s actually a threat to such. The irony: the corporate ladder crawl and all the related monetary rewards don’t really dazzle your fam, they suck them into the terrifying abyss. Plus, there’s the brilliant, timely narrative: the desperate fight to restore normality and the misguided, false reformation – which seems especially apropos for this very moment. Of course, if you’d rather just watch this one for its 1980’s suburban nostalgia, iconic lines, crystal clear cinematography, and jaw-dropping trick shots, we’re here for that. Plus a heartfelt bow to the beautiful, talented, bright Dominique Dunne who we lost way too soon. Sidenote: an interesting connection in the series – PRACTICAL MAGIC director Griffin Dunne is Dominique’s brother.

More in the mood to embrace the chaos? We got you. Robert Eggers’ THE WITCH is by far the youngest in the series and delivers a beguiling hyper-witchy, autumnal landscape. Eggers’ drops us dead in the middle of the season while putting the audience in a discomforting headlock of fuckery. Mesmerizing, committed, meticulous, magical in the worst way, and built to stand the test of time. THE WITCH is worthy of an annual viewing and if you’ve never seen it before do not miss this opportunity to experience it on the big screen with big sound.
Finally, THE LOST BOYS, who doesn’t love a coming-of-age vampire allegory. The only thing possibly more life-altering and icky than puberty – becoming a vampire. Innocence lost – you better believe it – and yet, somehow, someway, with courage, tenacity, love, and some humor, we’ll make it through. While not in the top ten of the most common Halloween titles, I would argue that THE LOST BOYS has all the comfortable elements to denote a seasonal classic. Need a few more reasons/excuses? Here you go: The Coreys. West Coast vampires are pretty darn awesome, a lovably ridiculous soundtrack, Jason Patric’s on the nose Jim Morrison impersonation, and, of course, the amazing over-the-top opening sax solo. Plus Kiefer Sutherland has never been and will never again be this pretty. We lost Joel Schumacher this past summer – let’s celebrate his work.
I recently visited the Regal Cinema on its last open afternoon. Most of the concessions were sold out and employees looked visibly upset. They didn’t even turn on the neon and, yet, they continued to clean the windows and collected my rewards number for the points that I acquired on the visit. While I sat in the theater waiting for the film to start I thought how surreal, how sad… how heartbreaking (I won’t say that I cried, but I won’t say that I didn’t). However, as soon as the film hit the screen, I disappeared into the narrative and was carried away by the giant images, the beautiful light, the immersive sound. I was truly transplanted from the moment, from the era. Leaving I thought: there’s some irony – the power of cinema just made me feel better about the loss of so many cinemas. Damn. Join us at Sidewalk during this change in the seasons and safely take comfort in the brief break from the times – I attest it works.” – Rachel


Our Programmer’s Picks: Alabama Films

To add to your quarantine viewing agenda: from tiny indies to mammoth blockbusters, check out this diverse list of films shot in Alabama (partially or in entirety).

Interplanetary PosterINTERPLANETARY (2008)


Directed By Chance Shirley

Watch via Amazon Prime Video

Synopsis: A motley assortment of men and women live and work together on a base on Mars for the Interplanetary Corporation. Things are pretty dull and unexciting until one day the crew find themselves under attack not only by a lethal group of strangers, but also from a vicious reptilian humanoid alien beast.


Hide and Creep PosterHIDE AND CREEP (2004)


Directed By Chuck Hartsell, Chance Shirley

Watch via Amazon Prime Video 

Synopsis: Residents of a small Southern town contend with bloodthirsty zombies, a mysterious flying saucer, and bad television reception.


Stay Hungry PosterSTAY HUNGRY (1976)


Director: Bob Rafelson

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play/iTunes

Synopsis: 40+ years ago, Hollywood rolled into Birmingham to film the adaptation of Charles Gaines’ novel Stay Hungry. Centering on the little-known world of professional bodybuilding, the movie follows Jeff Bridges, who plays a well-to-do (albeit directionless) Southern gentleman caught up in a shady business deal to buy a gym. There he befriends the bodybuilder Santos, played by newcomer Arnold Schwarzenegger, and falls for Sally Field. STAY HUNGRY is an odd comedy that showcases many Birmingham locations, including The Lyric Theatre. If you’re one of the few Alabamians who hasn’t seen this film, now’s the time to join the ranks. 

Here’s a fun article from when Sidewalk screened STAY HUNGRY at the Lyric Theatre for its 40th anniversary. 


The Great & The Small PosterTHE GREAT & THE SMALL (2016)


Tubi, Amazon Video/Vudu/iTunes

Synopsis: Twenty-six year old Scott is living on the streets and trying to find his way back into society while on probation for petty crimes. He attempts to navigate his relationship with his two bit criminal of a boss and an enigmatic detective, while at the same time winning back the heart of his ex-girlfriend, a working single mom. Shot in Birmingham, Bessemer and Fairfield, Alabama.


Sword of Trust PosterSWORD OF TRUST (2019)


Directed By Lynn Shelton

Amazon Video/YouTube/Google Play

Synopsis: When Cynthia & Mary (Jillian Bell & Michaela Watkins) show up to collect Cynthia’s inheritance from her deceased grandfather, the only item she’s received is an antique sword that was believed by her grandfather to be proof that the South won the Civil War. The two attempt to unload the object to a curmudgeonly pawnshop owner (Marc Maron) & his man-child sidekick Nathaniel (Jon Bass). When Mel and Nathaniel discover there’s a black market for the relic, the two pairs reluctantly join forces to sell this rarefied ‘prover item’ to the highest bidder. The adventure that ensues takes the four of them on a wild journey into the depths of conspiracy theory and Southern disillusionment.


Alabama Bound PosterALABAMA BOUND (2017)


Directed By Lara Embry and Carolyn Sherer


Synopsis: The courageous story of lesbian couples struggling to thrive in Alabama is poignantly portrayed in this moving documentary about the slow, but steady progress of LGBTQ rights. Directors Lara Embry and Carolyn Shere, both Alabama natives, also skillfully spotlight Representative Patricia Todd, the state’s only openly gay legislator. Todd has been on the frontlines, fighting some of the state’s heaviest battles facing LGBTQ Alabamians. ALABAMA BOUND is one of the all-time most riveting and heartfelt documentaries regarding queer life in the South.


Trading Paint PosterTRADING PAINT (2019)


Directed By Karzan Kader

Amazon Video/Vudu/Google Play/YouTube

Welp this one stars John Travolta, was shot in Alabama, is the Winner of the 2020 Golden Raspberry and holds a rating of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes… A stock car racing legend is drawn back to the dirt track when his son, an aspiring driver, joins a rival racing team.


The Fanatic PosterTHE FANATIC (2019)

Director: Fred Durst

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play

Not enough Travolta + Alabama? Directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, THE FANATIC (Working title MOOSE) stars John Travolta as a man obsessed with meeting his favorite actor (Devon Sawa), shot in Alabama.. Yep.


Eating Alabama PosterEATING ALABAMA (2012)


Directed By Andrew Grace

Watch Via FMTV – Amazon Prime

Or On YouTube

Synopsis: In search of a simpler life, a young couple returns home to Alabama where they set out to eat the way their grandparents did – locally and seasonally. But as they navigate the agro-industrial gastronomical complex, they soon realize that nearly everything about the food system has changed since farmers once populated their family histories. This thoughtful and funny documentary looks at community, the South, and sustainability, revealing a story about why food matters.


Selma PosterSELMA (2014)


Directed By Ava DuVernay

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play/iTunes

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.


TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Poster(2006)

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play/iTunes

Synopsis: Number one NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton, Jr. But when a French Formula One driver, makes his way up the ladder, Ricky Bobby’s talent and devotion are put to the test.


Arkansas PosterARKANSAS (2020)

Keep an eye out, ARKANSAS is scheduled to release May 1st.

A Hemsworth (Liam) made a film called ARKANSAS that was shot in Alabama… The cast also includes  John Malkovich, Vivica A. Fox and Vince Vaughn. IMDB synopsis reads: Kyle and Swin live by the orders of an Arkansas-based drug kingpin named Frog, whom they’ve never met. But when a deal goes horribly wrong, the consequences are deadly. (2018)

Directed by Aanand L. Rai

Netflix, Google Play, YouTube

A 2018 Indian Hindi-language romantic comedy-drama film in which some sequences were filmed in Huntsville, Alabama! The story revolves around Bauua Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), a vertically challenged man, who is full of charm and wit, with a pinch of arrogance. Born to a wealthy family and raised in an environment of affluence, he is challenged to broaden his horizon and find purpose in life.


Just Mercy PosterJUST MERCY (2019)


Directed By Destin Daniel Cretton

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play

Synopsis: World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.


Into the Ashes PosterINTO THE ASHES (2019)


Directed By Aaron Harvey

Hulu & Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play

Synopsis: Shot in Bessemer, AL, Nick escapes his criminal past and 2 partners, gets a steady job, a friend at work and marries the sheriff’s daughter. But his past catches up with him, when his ex partners track him down and want their share of the loot.


Get Out PosterGET OUT (2017)


Directed By Jordan Peele

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play/iTunes

Synopsis: Shot in Fairhope, Alabama, a young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.


42 Poster42 (2013)


Directed By Brian Helgeland

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play

Synopsis: In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process.


BIG FISH (2003)Big Fish Poster


Directed By Tim Burton

Watch For Free On Crackle

Also available on Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play

Synopsis: A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father’s life.

Here’s a “Then & Now” article regarding the locations in Spectre, Alabama


Office Uprising PosterOFFICE UPRISING (2018)


Directed By Lin Oeding

Watch for free via Crackle

Synopsis: An employee at a weapons factory discovers that an energy drink turns his co-workers into zombies.


Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood PosterFriday the 13th Part VII – The New Blood (1988) 


Directed By John Carl Buechler

YouTube, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

Synopsis: Years after Tommy Jarvis chained him underwater at Camp Crystal Lake, the dormant Jason Voorhees is accidentally released from his prison by a telekinetic teenager. Now, only she can stop him. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII used Byrne’s Lake (near Stockton, AL) as one of the major filming locations.

Here’s an article about the film’s locations via


Close Encounters of the Third Kind PosterClose Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) 


Directed By Steven Spielberg

Crackle, YouTube, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes

Synopsis: Roy Neary, an electric lineman, watches how his quiet and ordinary daily life turns upside down after a close encounter with a UFO. The film used several shooting locations throughout south Alabama, it was the first time a movie had been filmed in Bay Minette and the L & N Railroad station, “thousands of local townspeople acted as extras in the film”. North Baldwin, AL is super proud of the connection, take a look at their website.

Of course, the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema’s amazing light wall is also very similar to the light wall in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. 


The Nobodies PosterTHE NOBODIES (2017)


Directed By Jay Burleson

Watch On Troma Now

Buy the DVD on Amazon

Synopsis: The premise: Early 90’s Alabama, amateur filmmaker Warren Werner hosts a local premiere of his film, Pumpkin, shot on VHS for 600 bucks. The town is outraged, accusing Warren and girlfriend, Samantha Dixon, of engaging in satanic rituals. The two commit suicide. A documentary film crew begins investigating, but never complete the film. Pumpkin and the remaining doc footage are seared together to create THE NOBODIES.




GIP (2016)Gip Poster


Directed By Patrick Sheehan

Watch via Amazon Prime Video

Synopsis: There are 4 juke joints left in the United States. On May 4, 2013, the last one in Alabama was raided and shut down. But Henry “Gip” Gipson, proprietor of Gip’s Place, a gravedigger by day and hard-drinking bluesman by night, had no intention of going down without a fight.


Wind and Water Balloons PosterWind and Water Balloons 


Directed By Jamie Jean

Watch via Amazon Prime Video

Synopsis: Imagine finding out that your small Alabama town is the only one in the world that celebrates an annual and somewhat bizarre tradition. Follow along as filmmaker and Cordova native Jamie Jean documents his journey to uncover the origins of his hometown’s annual water balloon fight. Along the way, he discovers controversial claims of discrimination and racism in the wake of the 2011 tornadoes that devastated much of the town, yet didn’t dismantle the community’s pride


Muscle Shoals PosterMUSCLE SHOALS (2013)


Directed By Greg “Freddy” Camalier

Watch For Free On YouTube

Synopsis: Filmmaker Greg Camalier pays tribute to an Alabama city that holds a prominent place in music history. Artists who recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., include Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin and Lynyrd Skynyrd.


Gideon's Army PosterGIDEON’S ARMY (2013)


Directed By Dawn Porter

TubiI, Amazon Video/Vudu/You Tube/Google Play/iTunes

Synopsis: Follows three young, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for the people society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up.


4 Little Girls Poster4 LITTLE GIRLS (1997)


Directed By Spike Lee

Watch on HBO NOW

Also available on Amazon Video/Vudu/You Tube/Google Play/iTunes

Synopsis: A documentary of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement.


CRISIS: BEHIND A PRESIDENTIAL COMMITMENCrisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment Poster


YouTube, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video

Synopsis: Governor George Wallace will not let two black students into an Alabama school, against the wishes of President Kennedy. Loud shouts come from both sides of the issue as JFK stands by his decisions.


Deepsouth PosterDEEPSOUTH (2012)


Amazon Prime (included with Prime)

Directed By Lisa Biagiotti

Synopsis: Beneath layers of history, poverty and now soaring HIV infections, four Americans redefine traditional Southern values to create their own solutions to survive. DEEPSOUTH is a documentary about the new American South, and the people who inhabit its most quiet corners. The documentary features Alabama hero Kathie Hiers, CEO of AIDS Alabama.


The Virginia Newcomb Section



The Death of Dick Long PosterTHE DEATH OF DICK LONG (2019)


Directed By Daniel Scheinert

Amazon Video/Vudu/YouTube/Google Play

Synopsis: Dick died last night, and Zeke and Earl don’t want anybody finding out how. That’s too bad though, cause news travels fast in small-town Alabama.


The Atoning PosterTHE ATONING (2017)


Directed By Michael Williams

Synopsis: While they are haunted by ghostly apparitions, two parents try to protect their young son from a dark secret that could destroy their family.

Watch via Amazon Prime Video



Union PosterUNION (2018)


Directed By Whitney Hamilton

Watch via iTunes, Vudu, Redbox, Direct TV, Google Play, Verizon, Flixfilng, YouTube

Synopsis: A woman disguises herself as her dead brother, Henry, in order to survive in the Confederate ranks during the Civil War. With the help of Indians hiding in the mountains ‘Henry’ is reunited with the widow, Virginia, who saved his life at the battle of Antietam and marries her to rescue Virginia from an unfortunate arranged betrothal. They keep each others secrets and forge an unusual family. It is the alchemy of gratitude.


THREE FINGERS (2015)Three Fingers Poster
Short Film 


Directed By Paul D. Hart

Watch via Amazon Prime Video

Synopsis: An intimate, censorial depiction of trauma through the eyes of Jesstine, a mother, wife and Marine veteran. Reaching great depths of despondency, her life and family unravel until the moment she has nothing left but one crucial choice.


Fated to Repeat PosterFATED TO REPEAT (2018)

Short Film 


Directed By Logan J. Freeman

Watch via Amazon Prime Video 

Synopsis: A singer searches for a guest at her first show fronting for her dead lover’s band.

Women In Film Week

Women In Film Week puts the spotlight on female filmmakers. In this inaugural year, we are focusing specifically on female directors and writers.

As is reflected in the 2020 Academy Award Best Director nominations, there exist clear barriers for women in the film industry. Such is true historically and remains today. Despite the odds, women manage to consistently innovate film art. At our annual film festival and throughout the year at the Sidewalk Cinema we seek out interesting, innovative, important cinematic works that are directed, written, edited and/or lensed by women and we wanted to put a specific, singular focus on such annually at the Cinema. Therefore, we have launched Women In Film Week and are excited about our inaugural line-up.

Here are a few words from our programmers about our selections:


Arguably the best film of the year – written and directed by Céline Sciamma.

Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of reluctant Héloïse, the appointment is more of an undertaking than Marianne anticipated, her and Héloïse get to know one another throughout the process and, eventually, start hardcore crushing. It’s 18th century France though and Héloïse is about to get arranged married, both of which really complicate things… to say the least.

Featuring gorgeous cinematography, immaculate direction, and flawless performances, we’ve been waiting for more than half a year to program this one and are intensely proud to land it with perfect timing during Women In Film Week. This film will change your life.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE won the Queer Palm at Cannes, it is the first film directed by a woman to win the award.



In Anna Rose Holmer’s feature film debut, 11-year-old Toni stumbles upon a rec center dance team and is drawn to join. Her arrival marks the start of the team’s strange fainting spells and violent fits. Dreamy and mysterious, THE FITS, is a poetic, surreal exploration of femininity. Holmer recruited real-life, Cincinnati-based drill-dance team, Q-Kidz, for the film, including lead heroine Royalty Hightower – the team was provided part ownership of the film. We couldn’t resist an opportunity to project THE FITS on the big screen with all of its perplexity and enchantment.



Ex-Black Panther, Marcus, returns to the racially divided Philadelphia neighborhood for his reverend father’s funeral. Having been accused of being an informant in regards to the slaying of a fellow Panter, Marcus grapples with place and past.

10 years in the making, writer-director Tanya Hamilton combined historical facts with creative liberty to develop NIGHT CATCHES US. The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and the same year was an Indiewire Critics’ Poll nominee, Gotham Awards nominee and a 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominee, Alliance of Women Film Journalists nominee and NAACP Image Awards nominee in multiple categories.



This documentary lays out the fact that straight-up women in the film industry are not offered equal opportunities as compared to their male counterparts. Featuring interviews with Ava DuVernay, Catherine Hardwicke, Brenda Chapman, Caroline Libresco, Jamie Babbit, Rosanna Arquette, Kimberly Peirce, Lena Dunham, Martha Coolidge, Lynn Shelton, Penelope Spheeris and more… damn. HALF THE PICTURE is directed by Amy Adrion and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.



Friday night, March 13th we wanted to celebrate female friendship and put together a super fun “best friend” triple feature with heavy-hitters GIRLS TRIP, BRIDESMAIDS and ROUGH NIGHT.

Written by Erica Rivinoja, Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver, GIRLS TRIP is the first film produced, written, directed by and starring African-Americans to cross the $100-million mark.

Four longtime friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival and it gets crazy.

While female-led comedies are consistently considered risky financial endeavors, BRIDESMAIDS is the most financially successful Judd Apatow production. Written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, BRIDESMAIDS was a game-changer in regards to the successful financing of future female-led comedies. It’s also really fun to watch and consider this, Melissa McCarthy based the look and characterization of Megan in part on Guy Fier. A maid of honor and a bridesmaid compete for the attention of their mutual BFF and it’s freaking hilarious.

Directed and co-written by Lucia Aniello, ROUGH NIGHT joins the forces of Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, and Kate McKinnon. Daaaaang.

A well-intended Miami bachelor party goes way, way, way off the rails with the appearance of a male stripper.

The focus of all films in the triple feature is on the importance and weight of friendship and the acknowledgment that women should have each other’s backs. All three films are super fun to watch with an audience and we’re excited to bring them back to the big screen and celebrate all the women who made these re-watch worthy films possible and special.



Turning the focus again to the importance of friendship and the intricacies of such, BOOKSMART is sharp, hilarious, honest, bright and, above all else, fun as hell. One of the greatest buddy comedies of all time, Olivia Wilde’s critically acclaimed directorial debut was written by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman.

After four years of academic excess, over-achieving besties Amy and Molly decide to finally throw down on the eve of their high school graduation and chaos ensues. We wanted to be sure to include a film that places the focus on young women and BOOKSMART perfectly captures the magic, surprise and exciting uncertainty of a late high school evening out.

Without a doubt, BOOKSMART should have received an Academy Best Director nomination.



Written, directed and starring Barbara Loden, WANDA is an impressive accomplishment. Shot on location in eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut with a tiny crew of seven people (sometimes as few as four) and featuring a great deal of improvised dialogue and numerous non-actors, WANDA is a unique, innovative, complex feminist masterpiece. The film is Loden’s directorial debut and her only feature works.

Overlooked upon its release and virtually forgotten for decades, the last few years have seen masterwork, WANDA, begin to acquire the recognition that it deserves. Including the 2017 selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress and a new restoration (completed in 2018) followed by a weeklong run at the Metrograph theatre in New York.

Barbara Loden once wrote, “I tried to be independent and to create my own way. Otherwise, I would have become like Wanda, all my life just floating around.” WANDA is a hardworking product of that deliberate independence.

After leaving her job and her husband and relinquishing custody of her children, Wanda Goronski splits town. After a number of unfortunate run-ins, Wanda finds herself on the run with a volatile bank robber.



We’re excited to screen Tanya Wexler’s so-called “late-capitalism comedy”, BUFFALOED, as part of Women In Film Week. Starring Zoey Deutch, the film premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and is currently in theatrical release. In an effort to pay for Ivy League tuition, Peg gets involved the shady debt collection underworld.


Pioneering feminist French film director Agnès Varda passed away last March. Among many things, her work was highly influential in the French New Wave movement. In VARDA BY AGNÈS, Varda, herself, uses photos and film excerpts to reflect on her career. We are honored to celebrate her great work.