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The 18th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival
August 26-28

Sidewalk Film Festival is produced by the Alabama Moving Image Association, a federally recognized 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to inspire, encourage and support filmgoers, the city of Birmingham and the filmmaking community. In addition to hosting the annual film festival, we host monthly networking and educational events, a monthly documentary series, short film and screenwriting competitions, manage a youth board and a variety of other year-round programs. 

Tickets sales to our events cover approximately 1/3 of our annual operating cash budget, so we depend on corporate sponsors, grant-making organizations and individuals like you to survive. if you’d like to know more about supporting Sidewalk, please contact us at sidewalk@sidewalkfest.com.

Using Sched.org as our primary scheduling tool, we are happy to offer four different ways to view this year’s lineup. By hovering your cursor over the "Schedule" tab below, you can take your pick of a Simple, Expanded, Grid, or By Venue view. 

This schedule is subject to change.

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Sidetalk [clear filter]
Saturday, August 27

10:30am CDT

Crowdfunding to Build Independence with Seed & Spark
Limited Capacity seats available

The only proven path to independence as an artist is a direct connection to your audience. Crowdfunding is becoming a fundamental piece of most financing plans for independent film. However, many filmmakers miss the opportunity to turn their film funding campaigns into audience-building opportunities that can last an entire career — and provide the groundwork for theatrical distribution that you control. Seed&Spark and Tugg are combining forces to invest in the future of independent film by offering a comprehensive Crowdfunding to Build Independence seminar. This workshop for film-related projects will provide the crowdfunding action plan most likely to create a lasting, flourishing, direct relationship with your audience.

Seed&Spark is a truly independent film community where filmmakers and audiences join forces to fund, promote and watch the best new independent films. Seed&Spark's film-specific crowdfunding tool — the “WishList” — allows supporters to buy or loan specific items to a production. Tugg is a web platform that enables you to bring your film to your fans' local theaters or community venues. Through Tugg, individuals are empowered to select a film, time, and nearby theater, and then spread the word to their immediate and online community.

avatar for Julie Keck

Julie Keck

Media & Communications Director, Seed&Spark
Julie Keck tends to media and communication strategy at Seed&Spark. She joined the team with 10 years of filmmaking experience and 5 of crowdfunding under her belt. Julie has run or consulted on crowdfunding projects that have raised over $300k total, and she’s spoken about social... Read More →

Saturday August 27, 2016 10:30am - 12:00pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

12:30pm CDT

Sidewrite Alabama Table Read

Sidewrite Alabama Short Screenplay Table Read

The Acting Studios actors reading the three finalists from our Alabama Sidewrite finalists

  • Warrior Fork by Dan Goforth
  • Three Minutes by Ian Cunningham
  • Rose by Joey Prestley

Saturday August 27, 2016 12:30pm - 1:45pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

2:00pm CDT

The Black Lens

A discussion of diversity and representation in filmmaking


T. Marie King

Activist, Strategic Community Alliance


Saturday August 27, 2016 2:00pm - 2:45pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

3:15pm CDT

Why Retrospective Matters

Why do video stores, theatrical screenings and retrospective programming matter in a world of streaming content?

avatar for Aaron Hillis

Aaron Hillis

Video Free Brooklyn
Aaron Hillis was recently praised by Brooklyn Magazine as one of "The 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture." He is a NYC-based film critic who has written for such outlets as The Village Voice, Time Out NY, Variety, VICE, LA Weekly, and Filmmaker Magazine. Aaron is also... Read More →
avatar for Mary Katherine McElroy

Mary Katherine McElroy

Operations Manager, Texas Theatre

Saturday August 27, 2016 3:15pm - 4:00pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

4:30pm CDT

Casting Stars
Limited Capacity seats available

You must have good actors but is it necessary to have a star? Learn about the role casting plays in financing your film, how to cast a star and what to do when a star drops out of your project.

Saturday August 27, 2016 4:30pm - 5:15pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

5:30pm CDT

Are the Queer Kids Alright?

A discussion of the portrayal of LGBTQ persons in queer film and television and how their representation affects young people who identify on the spectrum.


avatar for Gina Mallisham

Gina Mallisham

SHOUT Outreach Coordinator, Sidewalk Film Festival
The SHOUT Film Festival is Alabama's first and only film festival celebrating the best, new LGBTQ indie films. The 2015 Festival is set for August 29-30 in downtown Birmingham's theater district and is sponsored in part by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences .


Saturday August 27, 2016 5:30pm - 6:15pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.
Sunday, August 28

11:00am CDT

Interactive and Innovative Storytelling
Limited Capacity seats available

Learn more about how these filmmakers are working to use new technologies and new approaches to make interative films and tell their stories in innovative ways.  


avatar for Jen West

Jen West

Four x Productions


Sunday August 28, 2016 11:00am - 11:45am CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

12:15pm CDT

Sidewrite International Short Screenplay Table Read

The Acting Studio's actors will read 4 selections from the international submissions to Sidewrite. 

  • The Tennis Racket by Matthew Onorato
  • Adrift by Stuart Creque    
  • Lovin' It by Stuart Creque       
  • The Sister Twins by Stephen Webb  

Sunday August 28, 2016 12:15pm - 1:30pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

2:00pm CDT

Feminism in Film
Limited Capacity seats available

What we can do as storytellers to change how women are written,  which will change the way we see women reflected on screen and how we see them in life. 

Sunday August 28, 2016 2:00pm - 2:45pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

3:15pm CDT

A Conversation with Ondi Timoner

A conversation with two-time Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner, director, Ondi Timone


Sunday August 28, 2016 3:15pm - 4:00pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.

4:30pm CDT

ALERT! Actors & Directors
Discover the ONE thing that delivers an Actor’s performance on to fulfill the Director’s Dream - a workshop that gets Director & Actor on the same page.

Sunday August 28, 2016 4:30pm - 5:30pm CDT
Ruston Theatre at McWane Enter from 3d Ave. N.