Every year at Sidewalk, we’re thrilled to bring you some of the most exciting and thought-provoking documentary features we can find — and this 25th year is no exception, as we have a ton of new films that documentary fans are going to want to seek out. In this blog post, we’ll be showcasing four of this year’s can’t-miss selections that documentary fans will want to add to their schedules. Make sure you check each venue and get your tickets or passes now, as seating is limited in some cases, and you’ll want to make sure you get your seat for these hotly anticipated titles.


Saturday, Aug. 26, at 2:35 p.m.

Sidewalk Cinema Theater B

1821 2nd Ave. N.

We have a lot of films this year that peek beneath the surface of artists’ creative processes — see also our opening night selection, the Thomas Kinkade documentary Art for Everybody — and this portrait of Nathan Hilu, a 90-year-old folk artist, is a twisty and unexpected entry in this very specific thematic subgenre. Director Elan Golod’s film is a profile of Hilu, a man who has for 70 years compulsively created a visual memoir based on his experiences as a young Jewish serviceman assigned to guard Nazi war criminals who were facing trial at Nuremberg. As Nathan tells his remarkable story, Nathan-ism takes turns you won’t see coming, giving viewers a full and remarkable look at this complicated artist. Our festival screening is sponsored by Marjorie Perlman.

Mississippi River Styx

Saturday, Aug. 26, at 12:40 p.m.

Kress Building Ballroom

301 19th St. N

A man with a terminal cancer diagnosis sets out on a final voyage down the Mississippi River on a rickety houseboat, hoping to float down the river’s entire length and reach the Gulf of Mexico before his time runs out. This is just the beginning of the wild new documentary Mississippi River Styx, which depicts the harrowing journey — and what happens when the journey ends, the man continues to live off the kindness of strangers, and locals in a Louisiana delta town start to wonder about the truth behind the story that initially captivated an entire region. If you’re a fan of previous Sidewalk documentary selections like Finders Keepers, you won’t want to miss this portrait of an eccentric drifter and his dangerous quest.

A Disturbance in the Force

Sunday, Aug. 27, at 3:30 p.m.

Lyric Theatre

1800 3rd Ave. N.

Any Star Wars fans out there? How about fans of kitschy cultural artifacts? If you were a fan of Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, the Sidewalk opening night selection in 2015 from co-director Jeremy Coon, you’ll enjoy A Disturbance in the Force. Co-directed by Coon and Steve Kozak, this is a documentary that examines in full detail how the infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special was conceived, shot and aired — only to be almost instantly denounced by George Lucas and its cast, and grow into an object of fascination for Star Wars fans for decades. Featuring commentary by some of the most famous nerd figures in pop culture (including “Weird Al” Yankovic, Seth Green and Kevin Smith), A Disturbance in the Force is a must-see for bad movie enthusiasts. Our festival screening is sponsored by Amanda Bates of ARC Realty. (After, at 5:40 p.m., consider joining us at Sidewalk Cinema’s Theater A for a very special edition of VHS Time Machine, where we’ll show a secret vintage title that may be of interest to fans of this movie. Admission is free, but warning: Seating is limited!)

Mister Organ

Sunday, Aug. 27, at 3:30 p.m.

Alabama Theatre

1817 3rd Ave. N.

Now here’s a disturbing mind trip of a documentary you won’t want to miss. Filmmaker and journalist David Farrier begins his investigation of a New Zealand antique shop that has been overzealously clamping tires of cars that park in the street in front of the shop. As he digs into the story of Michael Organ, the parking monitor responsible, he is pulled into Organ’s dark web of manipulation and psychological warfare — and soon finds that just as he has been investigating Organ, Organ has been investigating him. Farrier, the filmmaker behind the absolutely wild documentary “Tickled,” has returned with another twisty story of a charismatic and dangerous man who is unafraid to turn the tables on his pursuer. Our festival screening of Mister Organ is sponsored by Brandino Brass.

And these are only four of an astounding slate of documentary features you can see during our 25th annual festival. Don’t have your passes or tickets yet? Go ahead and get whatever is best for your schedule now — you won’t want to miss this incredible lineup of films, or the exciting special events and parties we have in store.


Festival Tickets



Festival Tickets




August 19-25, 2024

Sidewalk Film Festival

More info