The 20th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival, a celebration of new independent cinema in downtown Birmingham, is set to take place August 20th-26th, 2018. Since its debut in 1999, filmmakers from across the country and around the world have come to Birmingham to screen their work at Sidewalk and have been thrilled to discover fresh, enthusiastic crowds eager to devour new independent cinema.
With ten screening venues located within Birmingham’s historic Theatre District (featuring the restored Alabama Theatre, a 2,200 seat movie palace built by Paramount in 1927 and the newly restored Lyric Fine Arts Theatre built in 1914 for B.F. Keith’s Vaudeville circuit), spontaneity rules the schedule of Sidewalk attendees. Low-priced weekend passes provide easy access to Sidewalk venues, encouraging attendees to seek out new films and sample programming they may not otherwise see. The result is a crowd rich in diversity and united in a hunger for new film.
Sidewalk actively strives to bring a variety of film to its audience with a range of focused sidebars. We highlight the historical and ongoing struggles and issues in civil and social rights through our Life & Liberty track. In our Black Lens track, we focus on the many African voices represented in film. And our SHOUT track features outstanding LGBTQ filmmakers and content. We also host a Family Festival track that includes family-friendly programming (and our popular-with-adults Saturday morning cartoons). Finally, because we’re located in Birmingham, a city with several major universities, we are pleased to highlight student filmmakers from the city and from around the world.
Returning in 2018, Sidewalk is pleased to announce its Sidewrite Competition, a competition for screenplay writing. With awards in both the short and feature length categories, Sidewalk is looking for outstanding and innovating scripts to recognize. Winners will be announced approximately a month before the festival and are guaranteed travel assistance to the festival during which they may participate in a table read of their scripts.