The 14th annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, a celebration of new independent cinema in downtown Birmingham, is set to take place August 24-26, 2012. Since its debut in 1999, filmmakers from across the country and around the world have come to Birmingham to screen their work at Sidewalk and have been thrilled to discover fresh, enthusiastic crowds eager to devour new independent cinema.

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1 Life & Liberty [clear filter]
Saturday, August 25

12:15pm CDT

Our Mockingbird (with "Same People") / screening sponsored by Lovoy, Summerville & Shelton, LLC

Our Mockingbird follows two high schools in Birmingham, Alabama - one black, one white - as they stage a life changing collaboration of the adapted play, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. The story of these two communities, 'separate but not equal,' resonates with the portrait of Birmingham and its pivotal struggle with race climaxing in the sixties, when the book was first published and then adapted for the screen. Our Mockingbird chronicles the collaboration starting from the very first meeting of the casts from Fairfield High and Mountain Brook High and includes their unprecedented access and introduction to Harper Lee. How these two groups learn about the struggles in their separate hometowns, as well as their discovery of the larger meanings of the book, itself, demonstrates the impact that Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ still has in the twenty-first century. 

Check out the film's website: http://ourmockingbird.com/Home.html 

Screening with the short film "Same People"
Directed by Rebecca Howard and Fifi Wang
DOC Short | USA | 8 min.

In the Black Belt of Alabama, there are dual school systems consisting of all-black public schools and all-white private schools called segregation academies. Both the white schools and the black schools are struggling, but no one has made the move to integrate the system. Does this doom the Black Belt to fail?


Saturday August 25, 2012 12:15pm - 1:35pm CDT
Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev Abraham Woods, Jr, Blvd Birmingham, AL 35203-2203

3:10pm CDT

Ethel / screening sponsored by Rojo

In the Sundance Film Festival favorite, Ethel, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy examines the remarkable life of her mother, Ethel Kennedy. The documentary features candid interviews with Ethel and seven of her children and is a surprisingly personal portrait of Ethel’s political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their eleven children on her own. Documentarian, Rory, is the youngest of the siblings and was born shortly after her father’s death. The film is packed with incredible archival footage, including family home movies, and provides unique and personal, never before revealed insight into many historical events. Intimate, funny, and deeply moving, Ethel offers a rare look inside a political dynasty strengthened by family bonds, a compassion for others, and a wisdom forged from both hardship and triumph. 


Saturday August 25, 2012 3:10pm - 4:50pm CDT
Hill Arts Center 1811 3rd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203

5:05pm CDT


Detroit was once one of the fastest growing cities in the world. By 1950 the population was1.8 million, by 2010 that number dropped to 714,000. 

Detropia chronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to make sense of what is happening to their city. A blues bar owner, a young blogger, an auto union rep, a group of artists, an opera impresario, and a gang of illegal "scrappers" make up an unlikely chorus that illuminates the tale of both a city and a country in soul-searching mood, desperate for a new identity. The woes of Detroit seem emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. Perhaps the Midwestern icon is a canary in the American coal mine.

Detropia is a cinematic tapestry of a city and its people; the documentary sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution.

Check out the trailer here: http://vimeo.com/42302316


Saturday August 25, 2012 5:05pm - 6:35pm CDT
Red Mountain Theatre 301 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203
Sunday, August 26

10:20am CDT

In Heaven, Underground (with "Birds of Brooklyn") / screening sponsored by the Birmingham Jewish Federation

In Heaven, Underground: The Weissensee Jewish Cemetery is an enchanting journey into history that celebrates life and the immortality of memories. The peaceful 130-year old Weissensee Jewish cemetery, surrounded by a jungle of trees and lush foliage, lies just north of Berlin’s noisy city center. It is the largest Jewish cemetery still in use in Europe. Its one hundred acres hold 115,000 graves and a meticulous archive record. The cemetery has never closed, and was one of the few institutions to remain in Jewish hands during the Nazi regime.

Director Britta Wauer's charming portrait creates a serene experience following an array of characters from around the world who are all connected to the cemetery in some way: mourners, tourists, a third-generation gravedigger, an ornithologist studying rare birds of prey and more. In Heaven, Underground captures the essence of the Weissensee Cemetery in all its multiple layers.

See the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS8ADXjOcno

Screening with the short film "Birds of Brooklyn"
Directed by Joel Fendelman
NAR | USA | 7 min.

An aging woman travels back to the Russian neighborhood she grew up in to rediscover a childhood memory.

Sunday August 26, 2012 10:20am - 12:00pm CDT
Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev Abraham Woods, Jr, Blvd Birmingham, AL 35203-2203

12:45pm CDT

Bay of All Saints

Bay of All Saints explores the self-established, community who live in palafitas, shacks built over the bay with the use of stilts and garbage in Bahia, Brazil.  Norato, the community’s repairman, serves as a guide to the impoverished neighborhood. With Norato’s access the filmmakers focus on three single mothers living in the slums above the bay. Due to an urban-renewal project, the shacks become threatened, many demolished. Residents are promised by the government to be relocated to dry land, but without real action. Over 6 years in production, the filmmakers direct their focus on the struggles of the community’s citizens. The individual stories are set against the backdrop of political chaos; the essence of such is reflected in the film’s most shocking scene. Perhaps most surprising, despite the landscape and circumstances, the documentary is beautifully shot and, at times, even funny.

To watch the trailer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CwfI4KxaM0

Sunday August 26, 2012 12:45pm - 2:00pm CDT
Carver Theatre 1631 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

3:40pm CDT

Last Call at the Oasis / screening sponsored by HomeRun

Water is earth’s most valuable resource. Cities are powered by it, agriculture and other industries depend on it, and all living things need it to survive. But instead of treating it with care, it has been allowed to become polluted with toxic chemicals and agricultural and industrial waste. As is becoming increasingly apparent, it is very possible that in the near future there won’t be enough water to sustain life on the planet.

From the team behind An Inconvenient Truth and Food, Inc., Last Call at the Oasis illuminates the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects and examines ways in which the situation might be managed. The documentary features activist Erin Brockovich, respected water experts Peter Gleick, Jay Famiglietti, and Robert Glennon, as well as social entrepreneurs championing revolutionary solutions.

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLE3i92LkQk

Sunday August 26, 2012 3:40pm - 5:25pm CDT
Alabama Theatre 1817 3rd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203

5:40pm CDT

Downeast (with "Light Plate")

Sidewalk alums Ashley Sabin and David Redmon (Mardis Gras: Made In China, Kamp Katrina, and Intimidad) return with a fearlessly intimate look at a business in a struggling economy.

Downeast is an experiential story that unfolds over the course of a year-and-a-half in the small lobster village of Gouldsboro, Maine. Shortly after the closing of the United States’ last sardine cannery, entrepreneur Antonio Bussone purchases the plant, hoping to re-build a lobster processing facility and rehire laid-off workers. Antonio's troubles begin immediately as local politicians with personal agendas oppose his vision of rebuilding the factory. Undeterred, Antonio is determined to build and operate one of the first lobster processing factories in the U.S.

In true Sabin-Redmon fashion, Downeast skillfully approaches a global issue from an intimate microcosm lens, all the while beautifully capturing the culture and landscape of the Maine coastline. 

Check out the trailer here: http://vimeo.com/30034686

Playing with the short film "Light Plate."


Sunday August 26, 2012 5:40pm - 7:10pm CDT
The Venue 1612 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
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