3 Birmingham filmmakers on their upcoming screenings at Sidewalk Film Festival Aug. 19 – 25th. Use discount code BHAMNOW15!

Sunspot Pictures’ David Brower and Rick Pennington on location. Photo supplied

The 21st annual Sidewalk Film Festival kicks off in Birmingham on August 19. Three local Birmingham filmmakers told us about their films and the festival at large. Get your popcorn and applause ready! Here’s what to watch for.

1) Rebecca Pugh

Rebecca Pugh started her career in TV news. She became Sidewalk’s communications person in 2010 and has participated in the festival ever since. “I fell in love with the people there and the local film community here in Birmingham,” she said. She now works in video production for Meredith Food Studios (think: Eating Well, Food & Wine, etc.) and makes her own films on the side.

Pugh has been thrilled to see the film industry’s growth in Bham. “The industry is thriving right now in Birmingham,” she said. “It’s exciting to see what’s going on.” She said that Sidewalk “shows the world that Birmingham is a special place.” 

Adam Guthrie and Rebecca Pugh. Photo supplied

Film: “Anthem for the Middle Aged Band”

Anthem for the Middle Aged Band. Photo supplied

Pugh’s film premiering at Sidewalk is “Anthem for the Middle Aged Band”.  The film follows a popular 90s band, PAIN, that recently reunited. PAIN was on the brink of fame when they split, and Pugh’s future husband, Adam Guthrie, is one of the band members. The band–now known as Salvo– still has a large following and played a sold out show at Saturn back in May. The film’s title is a nod to Salvo’s new song, “Anthem for the Middle Aged Man.” Watch the band get back together in this short film! Anyone who loves 90s music will enjoy. 

When and where to watch: 

Monday, August 19th at 7:30 p.m.
Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema
1821 2nd Avenue N., B01
Birmingham, AL 35203

Photo from Anthem for the Middle Aged Band. Photo supplied

2) David Brower

David Brower. Photo supplied

David Brower has lived in Birmingham for 27 years. He worked in the automotive advertising industry upon moving to Birmingham, and he said that the industry gave Birmingham a lot of production capabilities. Brower now directs and shoots television commercials in addition to being a director of photography and cinematography for independent films. He and his business partner, Rick Pennington, have a production company, Sunspot Pictures LLC.

“Sidewalk has really grown an independent filmmaking community here. Their mission to support local filmmaking and bring in filmmakers from around the world is coming to fruition and will have an ongoing impact on the audiences that will be incredible.”

David Brower

Film: Sea of Abundance

You can find Brower’s cinematography at Sidewalk this year in the film “Sea of Abundance”, directed by Yuri Shapochka. The documentary follows Parker Herring, a dancer who “challenges the ever present questions of existence, love, death, sexuality, nudity and nature” alongside Robert McKenna. “It follows a couple of people on a journey,” Brower explained, but it doesn’t follow a typical storytelling arc. The film was shot in Birmingham. Check it out! 

When and where to watch:

Sunday August 25, 2019 at 7:35 p.m.
ASFA Lecture Hall
1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203

Screen shot from Sea of Abundance.  Robert D. McKenna and Parker Herring. Photo supplied

3) Stacey Davis

Stacey Davis. Photo supplied

Stacey Davis is a Birmingham entertainment lawyer and filmmaker. She has been practicing law since 2002 and began screenwriting as a hobby. Davis wrote her first short film in 2015, which ended up playing at 13 festivals around the country. She’s now president of the board of directors for Sidewalk Film Festival. 

“Sidewalk has been incredibly important to the transformation and revitalization of Birmingham over the years,” she said. The festival was a frontrunner in getting people to come downtown, challenging misconceptions people may have about our city. According to Davis, people from all over come to Sidewalk and are surprised by how much Birmingham has to offer. 

Films: “CHERRY” and “PIE IN THE PUSS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF PIEING IN FILM”

CHERRY. Photo supplied

“CHERRY” is Davis’ directorial debut. The short film explores the notion of the “perfect” family moment and turns it on its head. “The moments everyone remembers come from the unpredictable,” she explained. “It’s a theme I wanted to explore against the plotline of a woman and her family coming home to celebrate her youngest child’s first Easter and finding out her father is dying of cancer.” Ah, life comes at you fast. We can all relate. 

When and where to watch: 

Sunday August 25, 2019 at 4:55 p.m.
ASFA Dorothy Jemison Day Theater
800 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

Are you a pie fan? If so, Davis’ film “PIE IN THE PUSS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF PIEING IN FILM” might be for you. This documentary looks at the evolution of pieing in film–sounds like a lot of fun!

PIE IN THE PUSS. Photo supplied

When and where to watch:

Saturday August 24, 2019 at 3:40 p.m.
ASFA Black Box Theatre
1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203

We have a lot of interesting local films to look forward to at Sidewalk this year, y’all. Get your festival tickets here and plan your schedule here! Don’t forget to use code BHAMNOW15.