4 exciting films you DON’T want to miss at Sidewalk Film Festival, August 21-27


(Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

The 25th Sidewalk Film Festival is less than one week away! Held from August 21 through August 27, Sidewalk Film Festival is a week-long celebration of films and filmmakers in the heart of downtown Birmingham. We took a closer look at four of the 250+ exciting films that will be played at the 25th Sidewalk Film Festival—read on to learn more!

Visit the Sidewalk Film Festival website to get your tickets + see the full lineup of films

The 25th Sidewalk Film Festival

(Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Each year, more than 15,000 movie enthusiasts make their way to downtown Birmingham for Sidewalk Film Festival—an annual festival highlighting the work of filmmakers both local and from around the world. The Festival is organized by Sidewalk, a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging filmmaking in Alabama and building audiences for independent films.

Now in its 25th year, Sidewalk Festival will take place between August 21 and August 27, and will be held at several venues throughout The Magic City, including:

  • Alabama School of Fine Arts 
  • Alabama Theatre
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • BJCC Forum Theatre
  • First Church Birmingham
  • Kress Building Ballroom
  • Lyric Theatre
  • Sidewalk Cinema

Visit the Sidewalk Film Festival website to learn more about which movies will be playing at each location and to purchase your tickets to Sidewalk Film Festival!

Kokomo City (2023)

(Sidewalk Film Festival)
(Sidewalk Film Festival)

Directed by D. Smith, Kokomo City is a 2023 documentary exploring the lives of Daniella Carter, Dominque Silver, Koko Da Doll and Liyah Mitchell—four Black transgender sex workers in New York and Georgia. The film—which first premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival—is shot entirely in black & white and uses testimonials to give the audience a glimpse into the lives of these four women.

SHOUT LGBTQ Spotlight Night: Kokomo City will be shown at the Sidewalk Cinema on Wednesday, August 23 at 7:00PM.

A Disturbance in the Force (2023)

(Sidewalk Film Festival)
(Sidewalk Film Festival)

On November 17, 1978, the very first Star Wars spinoff movie premiered on CBS. Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, this spinoff—dubbed the Star Wars Holiday Special—starred the main cast of the original film and introduced Boba Fett, a fan-favorite character who appeared in later films as well as his own miniseries on Disney+ in 2021.

However, the film was poorly received and thus never rebroadcast or released on any physical or streaming platform. In fact, the only surviving copies of the Star Wars Holiday Special exist as home-recorded bootlegs.

Directed by Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak—the filmmakers behind Napoleon Dynamite and Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made—A Disturbance in the Force examines the making of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special—a film so campy it has become a cult classic.

A Disturbance in the Force will be shown on Sunday, August 27th at 3:30PM at the Lyric Theatre.

Art for Everybody (2023)

(Sidewalk Film Festival)
(Sidewalk Film Festival)

In the 1990s, artist Thomas Kinkade—the “Painter of Light”—skyrocketed in popularity with his idyllic portrayals of fanciful castles, colorful gardens teeming with life, vibrant village streets and more. Displayed on everything from canvas to commemorative plates, Kinkade’s art was disparaged as “kitschy” by some; however, according to Kinkade’s company, one in twenty American homes owned a copy of at least one of his paintings.

After Kinkade’s death from an overdose in 2012, his daughters discovered a trove of never-before-seen and unexpectedly dark paintings in his collection. Art for Everybody—directed by accomplished editor Miranda Yousef—digs deep into Kinkade’s life and work to get a glimpse at the real man behind the persona.

Art for Everybody will be shown on Friday, August 24 at 7:00PM at the Alabama Theatre.

It’s Only Life After All (2023)

(Sidewalk Film Festival)
(Sidewalk Film Festival)

It’s Only Life After All is a 2023 documentary about Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, two Atlanta-based singer-songwriters famous for their work together as the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls. Directed by Alexandria Bombach, It’s Only Life After All features great music, insightful interviews and never-before-seen archival footage spanning three decades of the Indigo Girls’ career.

It’s Only Life After All will be shown at 6:00PM on Sunday, August 27 at the Alabama Theatre.

Don’t miss these + other exciting films at the 25th annual Sidewalk Film Festival

Birmingham, Sidewalk Film Festival
Grab your snacks and enjoy the show. (Matthew Niblett / Bham Now)

With more than 250 exciting full-length and short films, discussion panels with directors, food + drink from local vendors and an unforgettable Opening Night After-Party, the 25th Sidewalk Film Festival is one event you don’t want to miss!

Get your tickets to the 25th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival and learn more about this beloved Birmingham tradition

What is your favorite part of Sidewalk Film Festival? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

Sponsored by:

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer + Photographer

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