Sidewalk Film Festival Recap

Quiz: What’s the hottest festival that has over 90% participation at the actual event from film makers/directors/etc? Sidewalk, silly! If you read our previous post, you know that the ArtBelles were excited about Sidewalk Film Festival. It was our first year attending the festival; needless to say, we had an AWESOME time!

We’ve been tweeting constantly about the films we saw, and hope you were following us on Twitter. If not, don’t fret dear ArtBLT’er, we’ve got you covered. Let’s do a run-down of our thoughts on Sidewalk.

Friday night=Opening Night!

Shermika LOVES red carpets!

Read on for the details/pics!!!

Sidewalk 2011 Bible/Score Card

Our cute blue and orange movie guide helped us find our way to each venue, and gave an in depth synopsis of each film. We are planning on keeping our guides so we can find many of the films we didn’t see.

The event was well organized, the weather was perfect, and the films were great! The crew was extremely helpful and more than eager to assist. If you bought the VIP weekend pass you could enter movies first, and enter into fab parties around Birmingham, along with many other perks.

VIP's didn't have to walk if they chose not to! Can we say ridin' to a film venue in style?

LONG after-party line, but it was swift!

LOVED the music!!!

Great crowd at the beautiful B&A Warehouse!

ShermikaBelle getting ready for our Dreamcakes break!!

Tamika posing!

Not only were there fabulous music and films, but the food/treats were wonderful. On Saturday, we ate from Cantina‘s food truck and had chicken nachos. They were delish, but for $6 they could have had more chicken. Plus, they didn’t have napkins handy which was a downer.

It was so much fun seeing people that you may have sat next to in the various venues, too. We ran into Heather, a very nice lady that drove from Huntsville, AL to see the films. She’s a Sidewalk veteran and we enjoyed getting to know her these few days.

Heather & Tamika!

Overall, we had a blast! The thing about indie films is that you get turned on to someone/something you were oblivious to before. Make it a point to celebrate indie filmmakers. What are some other film festivals you enjoy? Do let us know! CHECK OUT THE FILMS WE VIEWED BELOW!!!

Here’s a list of a few of the many movies that we saw:

Narrative Features:

“The InnKeepers” was the opening night film by Ti West. We personally didn’t think it was opening night worthy. It was far too long, the story line was drawn out, and frankly, there weren’t any scary moments (and we’re chickens when it comes to horror). We left this movie disappointed and still in search of a real horror movie that scares the mess out of us.

“The Green” was part of Birmingham Shout. It has an awesome take on what happens when allegations are thrown around regarding sexual misconduct between a homosexual teacher and his prize student. This was one of our favorites–the acting was superb and the cinematography was  beautiful.

“Silver Tongues”–We didn’t get a chance to stay for the Q&A, but I have a feeling the title of this film is based off a biblical verse. The film was dark, mysterious, and ultimately left the audience with their mouths open. The acting was superb, scenery beautiful, and the circumstances were very unique. This is a must-see, ArtBLT’ers.

“Autoerotic” was about sex and pleasure at the most weirdest moments. Too funny!

“Wuss”–ShermikaBelle thinks this film started off amazingly funny, but towards the middle of the movie lost its uumph. TamikaBelle thinks it’s still worth seeing.

Check out the screen/crowd at the Hill Event Center!

Documentary Features:

“Man in the Glass: The Dale Brown Story”–We aren’t well versed in the game of sports and had never heard of Dale Brown. Coincidentally, we met a woman (in the restroom of all places) whose company edited the film. She was so gracious and slightly nervous about seeing it. This documentary was a highlight of our film festival experience. Seeing Dale Brown’s story was truly inspiring about how it takes ONE person to be a catalyst for change. Brown is a man of great humility and strength. The documentary captured his life very well. It was entertaining, uplifting, and life-changing!

“The Reconstruction of Asa Carter”–This story line was interesting, yet boring at best. The story of a white former KKK leader that became a bestselling Native American author was intricate enough, yet the documentary didn’t do a very good job of pulling the viewer in. We never found out what happened to Asa Carter after his secret of not really being Native American was discovered. We really wished we had chosen “Sahkanaga” over this one, but alas one has to make tough choices when two movies of interest are showing at the same time.

“Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” is a must-see!! Not only is it hilarious, but it makes you want to learn how to count cards and head to Vegas. No lie!!! If the title of the film doesn’t reveal enough, these guys are the largest/well-funded blackjack team in America. Go find NOW.

“Leaving Selma”  is a beautifully told story of the heroes that were the catalyst for the voting rights movement in Alabama during the 1960’s. This is a very emotional documentary.

“Where Soldiers Come From” is wonderful but sad being that it’s a story of friends going off to Afghanistan and the trauma they faced afterwards. Trust us, there’s a lot of trauma. The documentary does not take political sides, but I can imagine a viewer does after seeing it.

VERY nice turn out!

National Shorts: 

“I F**k with My Voice: It’s a Cartoon”–Hilarious/interesting to say the least! It was about a lady that does voice-over work for Japanese-themed Hentai (adult) cartoon movies. Yes, you read right.

“The Interview” was very funny. It is a post-apocalyptic comedy about the last man on Earth trying to land a job with the second-to-last man on Earth.

Local Shorts 1:  About 5/8 bored us endlessly while three stood out: “Time Calls,” “The Big Empty,” and “Cardboard Titanics.”

We’d love to hear your favorite films! Drop us a line/tweet us.  Oh yea, click HERE to see which films won audience choice awards.

 

 

 

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Comments To This Entry
  1. I wasn't able to attend but I loved your reviews, very informative and well written.

    Carol on August 29, 2011 Reply
  2. Silver tongue sounds interesting, thanks for the list lemme see if I can find any of these on Netflix!

    Shanny on August 30, 2011 Reply
  3. Thank you for your kind thoughts on our film, "The Big Empty". I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    I'm happy to hear you had a great time! Sidewalk is an awesome event and an important weekend each year for the city of Birmingham.

    Looking forward to year 14!

    Bert on September 1, 2011 Reply
  4. Hey Belles!! this is your movie buddy Heather, I loved getting to see yall and hanging out and being your movie buddy, we must do that again sometime. Your blog is great and your reviews were really well worded. Sidewalk is a great thing for anyone and of any age and any type of film goer. Alabama is a great and quiet location for this caliber of film festival. I hope that is continues to grow and expand. My only problem is some of the venues get full so quick there is no more room, the speaker systems in the smaller venues are not great (even one of the directors commented on this to a venue manager) it is not bad just means getting so big they have to expand (the speakers are in the front only so they end up turning the volume really high, if you are in the front cause you got there to get a good seat before venue full then you cant hear all the subtle nuances in the background and if in the back you cant hear).

    Heather Giles-Westfa on September 2, 2011 Reply
    • Hi Heather! It was great getting to hang with you as movie buddies. We must do it again…maybe for the festival we spoke of. I'll email you. You're right, as SFF expands, they will have to have better speaker systems as one couldn't hear at times. And the only downside was that some of the venues are small and get full (I overheard a gentleman complaining about this), and one may not see everything they initially planned too. I'm sure they will take the suggestions and hopefully improve upon things. Thanks for your comment!

      ShermikaBelle on September 7, 2011

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