Sidewalk Film Festival moves to the Grand River Drive-In August 24-30. Buy tickets now

Sidewalk Film Festival
Don’t worry, concessions will still be available for your movie snack. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Lights up, cameras rolling—the 22nd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival won’t be put on hold, but it will be put in park. Since COVID-19 decided to hang around for a while, the event is packing up its projectors and moving outdoors to the Grand River Drive-In at The Backyard in Leeds. View more than 150 awe-inspiring features and short films on Monday, August 24 through Sunday, August 30 during a safe and socially distanced festival experience.

Where there’s a pandemic, there’s a way

Sidewalk Film Festival
Photo via Sidewalk Film

You can’t go through summer in Birmingham without attending two things: a movie at the drive-in and the iconic Sidewalk Film Festival. Now, the two are swirled together for the ultimate way to take part in the beloved fest. Each night will feature films on four different screens throughout The Grand River Drive-In.

“We are thrilled that there is a unique, safe way to have Sidewalk this year despite the many obstacles that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has presented.

We are thankful for the partnership with The Drive-In at Grand River and know that this year’s event will be one to remember for all involved.”

Chloe Cook, executive director for Sidewalk Film Festival and Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema.

Buy tickets for the first seven shows NOW

  • When: Monday, August 24 through Sunday, August 30
  • Where: 1451 Grand River Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094
  • Time: Gates will tentatively open each evening at 6:30PM with the start of the first films of the night scheduled to begin at 8PM
  • Pre-event tickets

Onsite tickets will also be available for each individual film and priced per car, and based on vehicle occupancy:

  • 1 Person Car- $15
  • 2 Person Car – $26
  • 3 Person Car – $35
  • 4 Person Car – $42
  • 5+ Person Car – $47

A look at the first seven films to premier 📽️

Sidewalk Film Festival
Get ready for a fantastic lineup! Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now


  • Documentary, USA
  • Director: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross
  • Runtime: 98 Minutes
  • Synopsis: A look at the final moments of a Las Vegas dive bar called ‘The Roaring 20s.’
  • Trailer | IMDB 


  • Narrative, USA
  • Black Lens, Life & Liberty
  • Director: David Midell
  • Runtime: 83 Minutes
  • Synopsis: Based on the true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder, who was killed during a conflict with police officers who were dispatched to check on him.
  • Trailer | IMDB  

3. EMA (2019)

  • Narrative, Chile
  • Shout/Sidewalk
  • Director: Pablo Larraín
  • Runtime: 107 Minutes
  • Synopsis: A couple deals with the aftermath of an adoption that goes awry as their household falls apart.
  • Trailer | IMDB 

4. JASPER MALL (2020)

  • Documentary, USA
  • Alabama Film
  • Director: Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
  • Runtime: 85 Minutes
  • Synopsis: A year in the life of a dying shopping mall in Jasper, Alabama.
  • Trailer | IMDB

5. ROAR (1981)

  • Rated PG
  • Narrative, USA
  • Director: Noel Marshall
  • Runtime: 102 Minutes
  • Synopsis: No animals were harmed in the making of this movie, 70 members of the cast and crew were. Wildlife preservationist, Hank, lives harmoniously alongside a menagerie of over 100 untamed animals on a preservation in the African plains. When his wife and children arrive for a visit, a long-brewing battle for dominance between the lions erupts and threatens their very lives.
  • Trailer | IMDB 


  • Documentary, USA
  • Director: Miles Hargrove, Christopher Birge
  • Runtime: 85 Minutes
  • Synopsis: The story of a father’s kidnapping as told through the 1994 video diaries of his son, the film’s Director Miles Hargrove.
  • Website | IMDB

7. SUZI Q (2019)

  • Documentary, USA
  • Director: Liam Firmager
  • Runtime:  98 Minutes
  • Synopsis: Story of trailblazing American rock singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro, who helped redefine the role of women in rock ‘n’ roll when she broke out in 1973.
  • Trailer | IMDB

“The Grand River Drive-In is thrilled to be the home for the 2020 Sidewalk Film Festival. With all of the challenges facing our community right now, especially in the events industry, we are excited to be able to offer a venue in which people can attend this community-favorite event— all while having the space to still be able to practice social distancing measures.”

Hunter Lake, developer of The Backyard at Grand River

P.S. The Grand River Drive-In is back open for biz! Check out their website for upcoming shows and where to buy tix.

Buy tickets to Sidewalk Film Festival today and follow their Facebook and Instagram for future updates on the event. 🍿 🎬

Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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