5 things to know about Sidewalk Film Festival on August 20-26, including ‘White Tide: The Legend of Culebra’. Sign up for the Bham Now newsletter to win FREE tickets!

Birmingham, Alabama, Sidewalk, Film, Festival
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Birmingham, Alabama, Sidewalk, Film, Festival
A big lineup of indie films, lots of parties and all those moviegoers ready for their closeups. Photo by Joseph De Sciose via Sidewalk Film Festival

So many films! So many events! Our very own Sidewalk Film Festival celebrates 20 years, and it’s all happening August 20-26 in different venues around Birmingham. Get your tickets now.

Birmingham, Alabama, Sidewalk
Yes, we are serious about the Sidewalk Film Festival around here. Photo via Sidewalk Film Festival
1. It’s An Experience

Oh, Sidewalk is so much more than watching a bunch of movies around town.

“We’re really known for creating theses three-dimensional experiences around certain films, said Chloe Cook, executive director of the Sidewalk Film Festival.

“There’s a film on the screen; you’ve got the filmmaker present, and they’re going to do a Q&Ait’s all about adding elements to differentiate the movie-going experience.”

This year’s opening night film is called “White Tide: The Legend of Culebra”. It’s all about one man’s wild search for a treasure worth $2 million.

You’ll have to wait and see what kind of experience will accompany this roller-coaster of a docu-comedy August 24 at the Alabama Theatre. For now, a preview:

Director Theo Love is a Sidewalk Film Festival alum and producer Bryan Storkel, a regular attendee since 2007, has screened 6 films at Sidewalk. The filmmakers and subjects are scheduled to attend.

Via “White Tide: The Legend of Culebra”
2. Something For Everyone

Sidewalk is also known for its huge selection of titles, and picking out what you’d like to see is part of the fun. The festival will show over 200 films, and that includes shorts, feature-length films, films from Alabama, documentaries, comedies, films by and for kids and teens and more. There’s even a block of films that have not been announced, so stay tuned for that, too!

3. Many Ticket Options

First things, first. Choose your ticket type.

  • VIP gets you into everything. All the films and all the events, from Thursday to Sunday, including extra goodies.
  • The Weekend pass gets you into all the movies from Friday till Sunday, plus the opening night after party.
  • The Opening Night Film + Party pass provides you with access to the opening night film, “White Tide: The Legend of Culebra”, on Friday, August 24th at the Alabama Theatre and the opening night after party.
The houses are always packed at Sidewalk. This is a glimpse at the 2016 festival. Photo by Karen Downs for Sidewalk Film Festival
4. Festival Within A Festival

The SHOUT LGBTQ film festival is a mini-festival within Sidewalk highlighting features, documentaries and short films by new and established artists. SHOUT offers attendees the opportunity to view topics of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities, as well as to interact with filmmakers and documentary subjects in attendance.

Sidewalk panorama
We told you it this was a big deal! Photo via sidewalkfest.com

On August 23, they’ll open the SHOUT festival with a screening of “Studio 54”, a documentary about the world’s most iconic nightclub.

5. Popular Culture Redux

Another big thing about Sidewalk is that thought-provoking films always make the cut. You know, the ones that punch you in the gut with storytelling. You may want to brace yourself for “Holiday”, even if you’re a film noir fan like me.

In the land of dark movies,  “Holiday” is pitch black and bites back hard. The lengths one takes to become a criminal and stay a criminal will stick with you in this Danish feature from director Isabella Eklf.

Victoria Carmen Sonne appears in “Holiday” by Isabella Eklf, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Jonas Lodahl, via Sundance Institute

Michael, a Danish gangster, takes his girlfriend, Sascha, and his extended criminal family on a luxury vacation in a fancy villa in gorgeous Bodrum, Turkey. Respect is nowhere to be found.

Film fans, please let me know what you’re interesting in seeing at Sidewalk! What selections are in your lineup?

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