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.

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

1 Narrative [clear filter]
Saturday, August 25

10:20am CDT

Richard's Wedding

Tuna and his best friend Alex meet up to attend the wedding of their friend Richard. They pick up their motley band of friends and head to Central Park for the ceremony. But with storm clouds (both literal and figurative) forming, the entire affair runs the risk of going off the rails. Richard’s Wedding is a wonderfully shaggy, hilarious comedy that calls to mind the ensemble films of the 1970’s, but with a fresh, confident cast that includes some of contemporary American independent film’s wittiest performers. Richard’s Wedding is heavily dialogue driven and calls to mind the classic works of Woody Allen, as much as it does influential contemporary influences such as Richard Linklater and the Duplass Brothers. Writer, director, and star Onur Turkel takes one of film’s most popular genres, the wedding movie, and gives it a much-needed overhaul.

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv4OcR--fzY

Saturday August 25, 2012 10:20am - 11:50am CDT
Red Mountain Theatre 301 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203

12:35pm CDT

Empire Builder (with "Bridges")

Jenny’s life has completely changed since having a baby. The daily routine of preparing food and playtime in the park has led to distance from her friends and dull date nights with her unaffected husband, from whom she is quickly feeling estranged. In part to escape the monotony and, in part, due to obligation, Jenny packs up the baby, departs Chicago and heads out, alone, to a remote, family cabin in Montana. While little changes regarding the routine nature of childcare, Jenny at least has a bit of solitude and independence. Such isolation is interrupted with the arrival of a handyman hired by her husband to complete repairs on the property.

Empire Builder is a reticent and thoughtful exploration of the challenges to independence, the loss of self that and the guilt of doubt that often accompany marriage and parenthood. 

Check out the trailer here: http://vimeo.com/40888505

Screening with the short film "Bridges"
Directed by Christopher Bell
NAR Short | USA | 12 min.

 Babysitter Elizabeth (Joslyn Jensen) wishes she was the infant's mother. When a potentially dangerous situation arises, she leaves the apartment with young Julian (Julian Perez) until things settle - but as they get further away, Elizabeth thinks he might be better off with her



Saturday August 25, 2012 12:35pm - 2:00pm CDT
The Venue 1612 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

12:40pm CDT

The Fourth Dimension

Three filmmakers, Aleksei Fedorchenko, Harmony Korine and Jan Kwiecinski, were tasked with creating three unique stories that present their vision of the higher plane of existence, the fourth dimension. Each filmmaker takes his character on a journey that changes the way they see the world. And each filmmaker offers a different perspective on what the fourth dimension is.

All three directors works are presented separately in the film, with the only thread between them being a shared theme. Korine’s contribution is ‘The Lotus Community Workshop’ which features Val Kilmer as, well, Val Kilmer, a motivational speaker. Fedorchenko’s visually evocative, ‘Chronoeye’ presents a sensitive, philosophical perspective on the fourth dimension. In the brink-of-destruction, ‘Fawns’, Kwiecinski’s vision takes the fourth dimension concept another route all together.

Experimental, unpredictable, and diverse, the international anthology The Fourth Dimension takes a new stab at the traditional three-act formula. 



Saturday August 25, 2012 12:40pm - 2:25pm CDT
Hill Arts Center 1811 3rd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203

2:15pm CDT



Framed by interviews with a neighbor, a medical examiner, and a police detective, Jeff examines the 1991 Milwaukee summer arrest of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. The hybrid documentary’s detailed interviews are woven between archival footage and quasi-Errol Morris style fictionalized scenes depicting Dahmer’s oddly mundane existence. This combination quietly builds the pieces of a disturbing story in a manner that allows for contemplation but, smartly, does not propose explanation. Director Chris James Thompson was inspired to make the film, in part, because he felt that Dahmer’s story was told differently inside Milwaukee that it was outside of the city; Jeff is his worthy effort to inform such. The quietly haunting film thoughtfully recounts the tale of one of the countries most monstrous criminals while also sharply illustrating the setting in which the story takes place. 


Saturday August 25, 2012 2:15pm - 3:35pm CDT
Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev Abraham Woods, Jr, Blvd Birmingham, AL 35203-2203

4:00pm CDT


In 2007's The Great World of Sound, director Craig Zobel used true-life events to tell the story of unsuspecting people who were conned out of their money in the hopes of becoming recording artists. Compliance paints a similar picture of trust and manipulation, but with much greater consequences.

 A manager at a fast food restaurant recieves a phone call from a man claiming to be a police detective informing her that one of her employees has purportedly stolen from a customer. He instructs her to detain the employee in her office and to search her thoroughly. What follows is a story so outrageous that it's shocking to believe that it's actually true. Starring the terrific Pat Healy (The Innkeeepers, The Great World of Sound) as the menace on the end of the phone.

To watch the trailer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdONydDX44I

Saturday August 25, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm CDT
Alabama Theatre 1817 3rd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203

5:10pm CDT

Red Flag (with "What Happens When Robert Leaves the Room")

In this close-to-the-bone black "meta-comedy", Alex Karpovsky plays an indie filmmaker named Alex Karpovsky who, dumped by a longtime girlfriend fed up with his refusal to marry, takes to the road with an old pal for a misbegotten tour of college campuses and independent cinemas.  Pursued by an overly ardent groupie and his own demons as he screens his movie on college campuses and independent cinemas, Alex sinks deeper into a swamp of fear, deception, and humiliation. Keeping a deftly judged distance between himself and “himself,” Karpovsky pulls hilarity out of personal pain, defeat, and the lonesome American road.

 Red Flag is an observant, self-aware, painfully funny film about commitment, loneliness, and the human ability (or perhaps inability) to change. Aside from Red Flag, Karpovsky has most recently gained attention for his film Rubberneck and his work on the HBO series Girls

Check out the trailer here: http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/red-flag-2012/laff-screening


Screening with the short film "What Happens When Robert Leaves The Room"
What Happens When Robert Leaves The Room blends myth and metaphor to tell the story of Robert, a misanthropic writer with a suicidal commitment to his creation. After two actresses butcher a scene from his latest script, Robert flies off the handle and shows them what it really means to perform.

Saturday August 25, 2012 5:10pm - 7:05pm CDT
Carver Theatre 1631 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

6:25pm CDT

Free Samples / screening sponsored by Patti Woods Interiors

Stanford law student Jillian decides to put her career on hold to pursue a life in the arts. Quickly finding that she has no creative talent, Jillian becomes stuck and ends up adrift in Los Angeles. One hungover morning, she unexpectedly has to take over a shift in an ice cream truck for a friend. In no mood to be messed with, Jillian ends up roaring at her customers who constantly bother her with ridiculous questions or approach her with bad attitudes. As the day drags on, Jillian finds herself dealing with an oddball assortment of characters who wake Jillian from her aimless daze and make her see that life doesn’t stop just because you want it to.

Features performances by Jess Weixler (Teeth), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), and Jason Ritter (Good Dick), Jocelin Donahue (House of the Devil), and Tippi Hedren (The Birds). 

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zug7KR5GaAw

Saturday August 25, 2012 6:25pm - 7:45pm CDT
Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev Abraham Woods, Jr, Blvd Birmingham, AL 35203-2203

7:25pm CDT


When two bus crash survivors awake to discover that they are the only people left alive in their small town, they must form an unlikely alliance in a race to unravel the truth behind their isolation. As strange events begin to unfold, they start to question whether the town that they thought they knew so well is really what it seems.

 A haunting and impressively thought-provoking end-of-the-world thriller, After is director Ryan Smith’s (son of well known Christian pop singer Michael W. Smith) first feature. Filmed on location in Bessemer, Birmingham, and Decatur, Alabama, the stellar film recently had its premiere as the opening night selection at the Nashville Film Festival and recently screened at the San Diego Comic-Con. Nashville-based Magnetic Dreams Animation did all the impressive visual effects making After a truly Southern film.

To watch the trailer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKOmts2gdC0&list=UUWOp0jfSs2Gxi7gaWU63PxQ&index=1&feature=plcp

Saturday August 25, 2012 7:25pm - 8:55pm CDT
Red Mountain Theatre 301 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203

7:30pm CDT

Kid-Thing (with "A Short Film About Ice Fishing")

10-year old Annie roams her Texas hometown on her BMX. Friendless and virtually parentless, her daily routine is filled with self-imposed antics and general mischief. The usual prank phone calling, biscuit dough hurling, and general destruction is interrupted when she comes across a well in the woods and a voice coming from below.

 In typical Zellner Brothers fashion, Kid-Thing is funny, smart, perfectly odd, and innocently cruel. The film truly captures the majestic world of adolescence and vividly reflects the strange snickelway between frustrated restlessness and true careless independence; a phenomenon that usually only exists in the world of a pre-teen. Once again the Zellners have delivered one of the most interesting and unique films at the festival. Kid-Thing premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and subsequently screened at the South by Southwest, Edinburgh, and Berlin Film Festivals.

Check out more info here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zellnerbros/kid-thing-a-zellner-bros-film

Screening with the short film "A Short Film About Ice Fishing"

NAR Short | USA | 8 min.

In rural South Dakota two friends go out for a day of ice fishing only to accidentally blow up their truck and sink it into a lake

Saturday August 25, 2012 7:30pm - 9:00pm CDT
The Venue 1612 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

7:35pm CDT

Saturday Morning Massacre (with "Merman")

A team of amateur paranormal investigators struggle to make ends meet by debunking reports of supernatural incidents. On the verge of bankruptcy, they take on a case involving rumors of suspicious disappearances linked with an abandoned schoolhouse. Discounting stories of satanic practices, the team proceeds, desperately chasing cash and the opportunity to fulfill their mission – to catch a real ghost.

On a tour guided by the local sheriff, the crew learns of the schoolhouse’s gruesome past. Ignoring advice to spend the night in a hotel, they set up their gear and prepare for nightfall.  When the sun goes down, the truth comes out: the schoolhouse might actually be haunted by sadistic spirits… or something even worse.

Horror-comedy Saturday Morning Massacre is a bloody quasi-parody of Scooby-Doo and a cautionary tale regarding the consequences of meddling with the supernatural.

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uj6ZGIjisk

Screening with the short film "Merman."

Directed by Jono Foley
NAR | USA | 1 min.

Harrison dances within an amazingly lush, deep well of crystal clear water, undisturbed by his onlooking friends.

Saturday August 25, 2012 7:35pm - 9:05pm CDT
Carver Theatre 1631 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

8:25pm CDT


Klown follows two wildly inappropriate friends as they run amok through the Danish countryside, facing endless awkward confrontations and unspeakable debaucheries. Hopelessly misguided Frank “kidnaps” Bo, the 12-year-old nephew of his pregnant girlfriend, in an eager attempt to prove his fatherhood potential. With Bo at his side, Frank joins sex-crazed Casper on his secret adulterous weekend canoe trip. Rampaging through exclusive brothels, hospitalizations, armed robberies, numerous fights and even prison, the three paddle downstream from one chaotic misadventure to the next, all culminating in a surprisingly endearing portrait of friendship. Klown could be considered The Hangover meets Old School meets Deliverance, but Danish.

Critics are calling Klown “the funniest movie of the year!” Perhaps as proof, Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the film earlier this year and has hired Danny McBride to rewrite a U.S. version of the script.

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM_kAzNzsl4

Saturday August 25, 2012 8:25pm - 10:00pm CDT
Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev Abraham Woods, Jr, Blvd Birmingham, AL 35203-2203

9:30pm CDT


Two upstanding parents face catastrophe when they discover that their teenage son Carl may be involved in a sexual relationship with their highly regarded church minister. While the church board takes closed-door measures to bury the affair, the parents struggle to get a confession from their son. Tormented, Carl spirals into a mental collapse as he tries to protect the man he loves.

A complex and sophisticated drama, Wolf takes a deep look into church politics (this apparently isn't an unusual cover-up), man's struggle with faith, and the not-so popular topic of adult-juvenile relationships. With a stunning performance by Eugene Lee (as Bishop Anderson), Wolf will stay with you long after the ending credits.

Check out the trailer here: http://vimeo.com/36292137

Saturday August 25, 2012 9:30pm - 10:55pm CDT
Red Mountain Theatre 301 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203

9:45pm CDT

V/H/S (with "JPBF" and "I Am Your Grandma")

When a group of petty criminals are hired by a mysterious party to burglarize a rundown house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body sits before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks of videos. In their search for the right tape, the crew watches a number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last.

Bringing together some of the top filmmakers in the game today the horror anthology sends the viewer through a gauntlet of suspense, shock, and downright brutality. The creative minds behind V/H/S shatter any preconceived notions about the genre, making it feel inventive and captivating once again. The V/H/S Directors include Sidewalk alums Joe Swanberg and Ti West and Alabama-based Adam Wingard.


Screening with the short films "JPBF" and "I Am Your Grandma."


It may look like an ordinary office, and it may seem like an ordinary job, but you'd be surprised what they do at JPBF Inc.

I Am Your Grandma

This addictive short is framed as a video message recorded to show a future grandchild what their grandma was like when she was younger. And apparently grandma was a creative, musical freak of nature, who enjoyed committing imagery to video that, at best, would give a grandchild a better understanding of how cool grandma was and, at worst, would scar the grandkid for life.

Saturday August 25, 2012 9:45pm - 11:40pm CDT
Carver Theatre 1631 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

10:30pm CDT

Miami Connection

Recently unearthed and restored by the fine folks at Drafthouse Films, Miami Connection is a truly bizarre time capsule from the 1980's straight-to-video market (actually, I'm not even sure this one made it to video) . The film focuses on Dragon Sound, a loveable multinational rock band that demonstrates powerful skills in the martial arts. When not rocking out, the band's members go to community college together, live together, and generally spread optimism and cheer. Trouble brews when the crew gets in the way of the local Orlando drug smuggling ring, and they must use their mastery of taekwondo to take down an army of street punks and ninjas and other sensibly-bearded bad guys.

 Forget American Ninja. Forget The Best of The Best. Get ready to have your mind melted by the Troll 2 of all martial arts movies: Miami Connection!

Check out more info here: http://badassdigest.com/2012/05/31/brace-yourself-for-miami-connection-from-drafthouse-films/

Saturday August 25, 2012 10:30pm - 11:55pm CDT
Alabama Theatre 1817 3rd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203
Sunday, August 26

2:45pm CDT

Dead Man's Burden


In the contentious wake of the Civil War, a divided country tries to reunite by forging a future in the West. For one homesteader, that future is cut short by a bullet. Now his lawman son returns home to discover a sister that thinks him dead and an injustice waiting to be righted. A classic western, Dead Man’s Burden  explores post-civil war era allegiances in the western frontier, divisions created by modern progress, and family rifts that struggle to resolve themselves in an unforgiving landscape.

 Featuring some of the strongest cinematography to grace this year's festival, and gripping performances by Barlow Jacobs (Low & Behold, Alexander the Last) and Clare Bowen, Dead Man’s Burden is one not to miss!

See the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffHgH09vcp4

Sunday August 26, 2012 2:45pm - 4:20pm CDT
Carver Theatre 1631 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

2:55pm CDT

Pilgrim Song

Seeking escape from his stalled relationship and unhappy place in the world, James, a recently pink-slipped music teacher, sets out to hike Kentucky’s arduous Sheltowee Trace Trail. Ignoring his girlfriend Joan’s plea to stay in Louisville and look for work, James sets out on his two-month journey in hopes of discovering the source of his restless dissatisfaction. Among the verdant hills of Appalachia, he encounters various strange characters and becomes the reluctant companion of a gregarious father and son who ultimately help him rediscover what he's been missing.

With her second feature, Pilgrim Song, director Martha Stephens set out to make a film about eastern Kentucky that showcased the natural beauty of the area as opposed to the stereotypical way that the region is often portrayed. What Stephens has achieved is a beautiful, poetic, thoughtful Southern odyssey. 

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFVfSFZ2xB8

Sunday August 26, 2012 2:55pm - 4:50pm CDT
Hill Arts Center 1811 3rd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203

3:15pm CDT

Nancy, Please (with "Profile" and "Knife")

Paul Brawley is an aimless PhD candidate at Yale who's just moved in with his girlfriend and has his sights set on completing his dissertation. There’s just one snag: as Paul is unpacking his belongings, he discovers that he has left a book behind. A seemingly inconsequential object, but one Paul feels is of great importance to his dissertation and, therefore, to his future. He will have to retrieve it from his former roommate – the obstinate, casually sinister Nancy. Paul contacts Nancy, but she will not cooperate.  What should be the simplest of errands becomes intolerably difficult. Unable to accept his “defeat” at Nancy’s hands, Paul rushes headlong into a thresher of emotional unrest and physical punishment. His life will get much, much worse before it gets better. 

See the trailer here: http://vimeo.com/37442334

Screening with the short films "Profile" & "Knife."

Directed by Timo Pierre Rositzki
NAR | GERMANY | 7 min.

Caro has just gone shopping when she is approached by Thomas. He seems to know her, but she can't remember him. When he convinces her to have a coffee with him, Caro has no idea of the surprises this encounter will bring. Profile shows how dangerous social networking sites can be.

Directed by James M. Johnston
NAR | USA | 13 min.

Knife is a searing portrait of vengeance wrought by an unnamed man with a broken spirit.



Sunday August 26, 2012 3:15pm - 5:00pm CDT
The Venue 1612 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

5:00pm CDT

Booster (with "Crosshairs")

When Simon's brother is arrested for armed robbery, he is asked to commit a string of copycat crimes in an attempt to get his brother acquitted. Caught between loyalty to his family and his own will, Simon is forced to examine his life.

Shot on location in Boston, director Matt Ruskin does an incredible job of capturing the tone and landscape of this unique part of the U.S.. On an indie budget, Ruskin is skillfully able to pull off what Ben Affleck spends millions to achieve with much less success. Perhaps the most impressive element of Booster is the performances, especially considering that the cast is made up of non-actors. The striking newcomers are familiar with the world depicted in the film and it translates. Booster is an authentic, meditative film that takes the crime-thriller genre in a welcomed new direction.

Check out the trailer here: http://boosterfilm.com/trailer.html

Screening with the short film "Crosshairs"
Directed by Mike Hoath
NAR Short | Australia | 12 min.

Beau and Jamie, two brothers from a rural West Australian town, are caught poaching a lamb from a neighbouring property. When Beau refuses to go quietly, his younger brother becomes a pawn in a violent showdown.  


Sunday August 26, 2012 5:00pm - 6:30pm CDT
Carver Theatre 1631 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

7:15pm CDT

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Beyond the Black Rainbow tells the story of the Arboria Institute, a heavily funded alternative psychotherapy clinic that seems to have gone horribly wrong. The year is 1983, and Dr. Barry Nyle, a mysterious and tormented figure has taken the reins from Arboria's founder. He observes as his one patient, Elena, attempts an escape that leads to more nightmares around each corner.

 One of the more difficult films to describe, Beyond the Black Rainbow is so visually and tonally assaulting that it's really hard to pinpoint exactly where it comes from. It's like an LSD-induced journey through elements of 2001, Knight Rider, the experimental films of Richard Kern, Demon Seed, and 80's slasher films. To say that it's nightmarish is true, but it also carries with it a hypnotic beauty reflected by the neo-futuristic sets, the droney synth score, and the sharp cinematography. By Panos Cosmatos, it's one of the most startling directorial debuts in years.

To watch the trailer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWF0bBKhe6o

Sunday August 26, 2012 7:15pm - 9:05pm CDT
Carver Theatre 1631 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

7:30pm CDT

The Comedy (with "Bad Penny")

The fact that this film is called The Comedy is sort of a joke in and of itself. Hardly the all out laugh-riot we'd expect from some of the funniest guys going (Tim and Eric, Gregg Turkington, Jeffrey Jensen), the title most likely comes from the way that Swanson (Tim Heidecker) views all life as one big joke. Perhaps it's hard to take anything seriously when you're an aging, careless, hung over trust-funder living in Williamsburg with nothing to do but play wiffleball with other trust-funder friends and drink and hookup with grad students. He's kind of like Arthur but without the charm and likeability.

 The story finds him, though, at a crossroads where he wants to know what it's like to feel like a normal person. He toys around with common jobs, sometimes condescendingly, and depending on which way you like at it, the results are either really funny or excruciatingly painful to watch.

Check out an interview with the director here: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=uBEmEvkYv9I

Screening with short film "Bad Penny"

Barry's childhood friend Shawnsey is hearing impaired and staying in Barry's New York City apartment for five days. In the middle of his stay Barry has a date and needs Shawnsey to leave for the evening. Without any New York friends or money to burn, Shawnsey makes a different plan.


Sunday August 26, 2012 7:30pm - 9:10pm CDT
Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev Abraham Woods, Jr, Blvd Birmingham, AL 35203-2203
Filter sessions
Apply filters to sessions.