Sidewalk Film Festival Announces Complete Lineup For Drive-In 2020 Festival

 

Sidewalk Film Festival announced the complete film lineup of official selections for the 22nd edition of the popular and nationally-acclaimed Birmingham-based film festival which will take place August 24-30. Organizers for Sidewalk had previously announced that all films will be screened at The Grand River Drive-In at The Backyard in Leeds, making this year’s event the largest film festival in the country to present all of their films at the drive-in.

A highly anticipated stop on the regional film festival circuit for filmmakers, film industry veterans and film fans due to its adventurous programming (including its celebrated SHOUT/LGBTQIA+ film festival within a film festival), creative and raucous parties, events, and street gatherings, Sidewalk is the rare film festival that has not gone virtual or postponed altogether this year. With 163 films (41 features, 122 shorts) and 23 music videos, the film festival has packed an ambitious slate into 7 days and 4 outdoor screens.

Sponsored by Regions Bank, the 22nd Annual Sidewalk Festival at the Drive-In will screen films each evening on all four screens. Gates will tentatively open each day at 6:30PM with the start of the first films of the night scheduled for 8:00PM daily.

Sidewalk Film Festival Creative Director and Lead Programmer, Rachel Morgan, said, “While we would much prefer to be running from film to film in unique and beautiful spaces in downtown Birmingham this late August, I’m super proud and excited that we’ve moved to a drive-in festival despite the many challenges brought about by the current era. We strongly believe that great films are meant to be experienced communally – on a big screen with big sound and, while the festival will certainly be different this year, we are ecstatic to still bring a little of the magic of Sidewalk to late summer. I can’t wait to watch so many of the year’s best films under the stars, surrounded by fellow film lovers. Party on (safely).”

Sidewalk will open on Monday, August 24 with an Opening Night Extravaganza. The evening will include; Aurélia Rouvier and Seamus Haley’s BANKSY MOST WANTED, about the artist behind the famous art stunts; a special preview screening of Giuseppe Capotondi’s THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY, which stars Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland, and Claes Bang in an exciting art heist story, and critically-acclaimed indie director Kelly Reichardt’s latest film, FIRST COW, about a cook and a Chinese immigrant who join forces to start a business in Oregon. The extravaganza will also include a “back to the 80’s” double feature of TEEN WOLF (1985) with Michael J. Fox, and TEEN WITCH (1989) with Robyn Lively.

Award-winners on the schedule include Alice Gu’s THE DONUT KING, about a Cambodian entrepreneur’s rags to riches story, which won a Special Jury Prize at this year’s cancelled SXSW, as well as the “One in a Million” Prize at the Sun Valley FF, and David Midell’s harrowing true-life drama THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN about the killing of anan elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder by police doing a wellness check. The film was a Best Picture winner at the Oxford Film Festival.

Additional anticipated titles include; celebrated documentary director Ondi Timoner’s latest, COMING CLEAN, which examines America’s opioid crisis through the eyes of recovering addicts and political leaders on the frontlines; Kate McLean and Mario Furloni’s drama FREELAND, starring indie-sensation Krisha Fairchild as an aging pot farmer facing what could be her final harvest; and Amy Seimetz’ SHE DIES TOMORROW, where a woman’s conviction that she will die tomorrow spreads like a contagion through a town.

SHOUT selections include; Brandon Colvin’s A DIM VALLEY, about a curmudgeonly biologist and his slacker graduate assistants whose encounter with a trio of mystical backpackers change their lives in mysterious ways; Pablo Larrain’s Chilian drama EMA, about a couple dealing with the aftermath of an adoption gone awry; and Sharon Liese’s documentary TRANSHOOD, which follows four kids – beginning at ages 4, 7, 12, and 15 – as they grow up transgender in the heartland.

Other highlights will include the 30th Anniversary screening of Jennie Livingston’s landmark documentary of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag-ball scene in the 80’s, PARIS IS BURNING; EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE: DOGGIEWOGGIEZ POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ, which features unusual, dated, and campy clips of VHS tapes as part of a crazy evening with will include a couple of surprise guests; and a special Sing-Along version of YELLOW SUBMARINE (SING-ALONG VERSION) so mom and dad and the kids can take a trip to Pepperland with the Beatles singing with The Fab Four. For the 8th year in a row Sidewalk programmers have compiled an awesome selection of 1980’s and 90’s cartoons and vintage commercials for the SATURDAY MORNING NIGHT CARTOONS presentation. The one key update is that this year will be a BYOC (Bring Your Own Cereal) affair.

Sidewalk is also taking advantage of the drive-in setting to spice their lineup with some classics and slightly off-the beaten path titles. Those must-see on the drive-in screen films include Patrick Swayze as everyone’s favorite bouncer Dalton, in Rowdy Herrington’s ROAD HOUSE, Richard Kelly’s supreme mindbender DONNIE DARKO (2001), the film that established Ryan Gosling as a nation’s “Hey Girl” crush Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE (2011), and the film that literally almost saw Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith eaten by lions onscreen in Noel Marshall’s ROAR (1981). If the idea of that isn’t frightening enough, then more classic scares are on tap with Bernard Rose’s hook-laden killer CANDYMAN; John Carpenter’s film that arguably established the slasher genre, HALLOWEEN, and Thom Eberhardt’s NIGHT OF THE COMET, pitting two Valley Girls against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists after a comet lays waste to society.

Sidewalk will be offering filmmaker Q&As and talkbacks as well as continuing their educational efforts online throughout this year’s film festival. One key virtual presentation this year will be A Conversation with Michael O’Neill on Saturday, August 29 asveteran actor and Alabama native Michael O’Neill participates in an Inside the Actors’ Studio-style conversation on Zoom. They’ll discuss Michael’s career in Hollywood and offer advice to anyone looking to break into the industry. There will also be a Q & A portion afterwards.

Tickets are now on sale at sidewalkfest.com. Additionally, onsite tickets will be available for each individual film and will be priced based on the number of individuals in each vehicle (one person per car = $15, two people per car = $26, three people per car = $35, four people per car = $42, and five people or more per car = $47). Concessions and bar service will be provided by The Grand River Drive-In at The Backyard. Additional details are available at sidewalkfest.com.

The 2020 Sidewalk Film Festival official selections:

 

Opening Night Extravaganza

BANKSY MOST WANTED

Directors: Aurélia Rouvier, Seamus Haley

Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min

Banksy is a household name, but behind this name hides a multitude of stories, artworks, stunts, political statements and identities, leading to one of the art world’s biggest unanswered questions- who is Banksy?

 

THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY

Director: Giuseppe Capotondi

Country: USA, Running Time: 100 min

Hired to steal a rare painting from one of the most enigmatic painters of all time, an ambitious art dealer becomes consumed by his own greed and insecurity as the operation spins out of control. Starring Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland, and Claes Bang.

 

FIRST COW

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Country: USA, Running Time: 122 min

A skilled cook has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon, though he only fins true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a successful business.

 

TEEN WOLF (1985)

Director: Rod Daniel

Country: USA, Running Time: 91 min

An ordinary high school student discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself turning into a werewolf.

 

TEEN WITCH (1989)

Director: Dorian Walker

Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min

High school misfit Louise, at a loss for romance, discovers magical abilities, but if the teenage witch finds she cannot conjure herself true love, then so what?

 

 

Shout

A DIM VALLEY

Director: Brandon Colvin

Country: USA, Running Time: 92 min

A curmudgeonly biologist and his slacker graduate assistants muddle their way through a summer research project. Deep in the Appalachian woods, they encounter a trio of mystical backpackers who change their lives in mysterious ways.

 

EMA

Director: Pablo Larrain

Country: Chile, Running Time: 107 min

A couple deals with the aftermath of an adoption that goes awry as their house falls apart.

 

TRANSHOOD

Director: Sharon Liese

Country: USA, Running Time: 96 min

Filmed over five years in Kansas City, TRANSHOOD follows four kids – beginning at ages 4, 7, 12, and 15 – as they redefine “coming of age.” These kids and their families reveal intimate realities of how gender is re-shaping the family next door in a never-before-told chronicling of growing up transgender in the heartland.

 

 

Alabama

JASPER MALL

Directors: Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb

Country: USA, Running Time: 85 min

A year in the life of a dying shopping mall in Jasper, Alabama.

 

THE IMMORTAL JELLYFISH

Director: Dusty Bias

Country: USA, Running Time: 106 min

THE IMMORTAL JELLYFISH is a dark comedy about an off-the-grid oddball who calls a nurse hotline for help with his nasty “fire piss” problem. When a dying man washes ashore near Denny’s trailer, Denny and nurse Linda get caught up in the drama and become madcap partners in crime-solving.

 

 

Black Lens

AFTER SELMA

Director: Loki Mulholland

Country: USA, Running Time: 46 min

In 1965, 600 brave citizens marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the right to vote. Since that iconic moment, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, a concerted campaign to suppress voting rights in America has continued.

Screens with

FINDING THE CORNERSTONE: THE WALLACE A. RAYFIELD STORY

Director: Dwight Cameron

Country: USA, Running Time: 58 min

This film tells the story of two men, separated by race, education and time, but united by happenstance.

 

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN

Director: David Midell

Country: USA, Running Time: 86 min

Based on the true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder, who was killed during a conflict with police officers who were dispatched to check on him. Proceeds for this film will go to Social Responsibility Unit Chamberlain Jr. created under the Urban League of Westchester.

 

TRUTH TO POWER: BARBARA LEE SPEAKS FOR ME

Director: Abby Ginzberg

Country: USA, Running Time: 82 min

Film tells the complex story of Representative Barbara Lee, a steadfast voice for human rights, peace and equality in the U.S. Congress who cut her teeth as a volunteer for the Black Panther Party and was the lone voice in opposition to the broad authorization of military force after the September 11th attacks.

Preceded by

EDWIN

Director: Ya’Ke

Country: USA, Running Time: 8:45 min

Edwin Debrow Jr. murdered a cab driver when he was 12. He was sentenced to forty years in prison. Today he’s walking out.

 

 

Life & Liberty

COMING CLEAN

Director: Ondi Timoner

Country: USA, Running Time: 105 min

America’s opioid crisis is examined through the eyes of recovering addicts and political leaders on the frontlines. These unlikely allies emerge from the darkness to face their pain, bring the profiteers to justice and rebuild in the wake of the deadliest drug epidemic in our history.

 

THE DONUT KING

Director: Alice Gu

Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min 

This documentary tells Ted Ngoy’s story that is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption.

 

FEELS GOOD MAN

Director: Arthur Jones

Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min

When indie comic character “Pepe the Frog” becomes an unwitting icon of hate, his creator, cartoonist Matt Furie, fights to bring Pepe back from the darkness. FEELS GOOD MAN is a parable about one man’s fight to retake his creation from the grips of evil and America’s struggle to confront its deep cultural divide.

 

MIRACLE FISHING

Directors: Miles Hargrove, Christopher Burge

Country: USA

The story of a father’s kidnapping as told through the 1994 video diaries of his son, the film’s director Miles Hargrove.

 

MONEY MACHINE

Director: Ramsey Denison

Country: USA, Running Time: 74 min

Every year, millions lose billions in Vegas, but after Stephen Paddock opens fire on a crowd of 22,000 and kills 58 people, the town’s image as a safe adult playground is put in jeopardy. With billions on the line, the corporations that run Vegas use their power to get America’s mind off the shooting, leaving the victims feeling forgotten. MONEY MACHINE expose a rigged game of corrupt policing and corporate cover-ups and shows how the deadliest mass shooting in US history became one of the most forgotten.

 

 

 

Family Fest

YELLOW SUBMARINE (SING-ALONG VERSION)

Director: George Dunning

Country: UK; Runtime: 85 min

The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred in his yellow submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music-hating Blue Meanies. In total, Yellow Submarine took nearly two years to complete, with 14 different scripts, 40 animators, and more than 140 technical artists. Most famous as Yellow Submarine’s villains, the Blue Meanies also once made an appearance in an episode of “South Park” called “Imaginationland.” In the film, The Beatles can be heard singing a bit of “Think For Yourself” a cappella, sourced from a studio session tape. That same tape was used on Paul’s Liverpool Sound Collage album in 2000. Among the many artists and musicians who were inspired by Yellow Submarine’s animation was a young David Bowie.

 

Additional Feature Films

BARBERSHOP (2002)

Director: Tim Story

Country: USA, Running Time: 102 min

Calvin Palmer Jr. (Ice Cube) decides he has had enough of trying to keep open the Chicago barbershop his father handed down to him. He cannot borrow, revenues are falling, and he seems more interested in get-rich-quick schemes to bring in easy money. Without telling his employees or customers, he sells the barbershop to a greedy loan shark, Lester Wallace (Keith David), who secretly plans to turn it into a strip club.

 

BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS

Directors: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross

Country: USA, Running Time: 98 min

A look at the final moments of a Las Vegas dive bar called “The Roaring 20s”.

 

CANDYMAN (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose

Country: USA, Running Time: 99 min

Skeptical graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) befriends Anne-Marie McCoy (Vanessa Williams) while researching superstitions in a housing project on Chicago’s Near North Side. From Anne-Marie, Helen learns about the Candyman (Tony Todd), a hook-wielding figure of urban legend that some of her neighbors believe to be responsible for a recent murder. After a mysterious man matching the Candyman’s description begins stalking her, Helen comes to fear that the legend may be all too real.

 

CENTIGRADE

Director: Brendan Walsh

Country: USA, Running Time: 98 min

Based on an actual incident, a married couple find themselves trapped in their frozen vehicle after a blizzard and struggle to survive amid lunging temperatures and unforeseen obstacles.

 

DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993)

Director: Richard Linklater

Country: USA, Running Time: 102 min

America, 1976. The last day of school. Bongs blaze, bell-bottoms ring, and rock and roll rocks. Richard Linklater’s DAZED AND CONFUSED eavesdrops on a group of seniors-to-be and incoming freshmen. A launching pad for a number of future stars, Linklater’s first studio effort also features endlessly quotable dialogue and a blasting, stadium-ready soundtrack. Sidestepping nostalgia, DAZED AND CONFUSED is less about “the best years of our lives” than the boredom, angst, and excitement of teenagers waiting . . . for something to happen.

 

DONNIE DARKO (2001)

Director: Richard Kelly

Country: USA, Running Time: 112 min

During the presidential election of 1988, a teenager named Donnie Darko sleepwalks out of his house one night and sees a giant, demonic-looking rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days. When Donnie returns home, he finds that a jet engine has crashed into his bedroom. Is Donnie living in a parallel universe, is he suffering from mental illness – or will the world really end?

 

DRIVE (2011)

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Country: USA, Running Time: 100 min

Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a skilled Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Though he projects an icy exterior, lately he’s been warming up to a pretty neighbor named Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son, Benicio (Kaden Leos). When Irene’s husband gets out of jail, he enlists Driver’s help in a million-dollar heist. The job goes horribly wrong, and Driver must risk his life to protect Irene and Benicio from the vengeful masterminds behind the robbery.

 

DRIVE-IN MASSACRE (1976)

Director: Stu Segall

Country: USA, Running Time: 74 min

It’s a hot summer night in Southern California, and the local drive-in is packed with patrons. When a sword-wielding psycho begins carving up customers, it gleefully unspools a grubby cavalcade of creepy carnies, peeping perverts, graphic decapitations and an ending you have to see/hear to believe. John F. Goff (THE FOG), Bruce Kimball (LOVE CAMP 7) and co-writer George ‘Buck’ Flower (BACK TO THE FUTURE) star in this nasty slab of ‘70s sleaze.

 

EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE: DOGGIEWOGGIEZ POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ

Director: Various

Country: USA, Running Time: 80 min

From the folks that brought you the largest collection of JERRY MAGUIRE on VHS… EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE features unusual, dated, and campy clips of VHS tapes from the late 20th century and early 21st century.

 

FREELAND

Directors: Kate McLean, Mario Furloni

Country: USA, Running Time: 80 min

Fighting against the threat of eviction, as the impact of the legalization of the cannabis industry rapidly destroys her idyllic way of life, an aging pot farmer suddenly finds her world shattered as she races to bring in what could be her final harvest. Cast: Krisha Fairchild, Lily Gladstone, Frank Mosley

 

GIANTS BEING LONELY

Director: Grear Patterson

Country: USA, Running Time: 81 min

Two players on a successful high school baseball team, the Giants, come of age in the American South. Beautiful, strange, and timeless to the point of feeling ephemeral, GIANTS BEING LONELY perfectly captures teenage alienation and the often youthfully misguided desperation to connect in a world that seems both simultaneously huge and small.

 

HALLOWEEN (1978)

Director: John Carpenter

Country: USA, Running Time: 91 min

On Halloween night in 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith’s Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

 

HARLEY

Director: Jean-Cosme Delaloye

Country: USA, Running Time: 70 min

Harley is a successful, long-haired, bowtie-wearing, Ferrari-driving criminal defense attorney in a gang-infested New Jersey neighborhood. In an effort for self-betterment and with hopes of winning over the woman of his dreams (a bodybuilding model, 20 years his junior who he met online), Harley embarks on an ambitious quest. Inspired by his childhood hero Rocky Balboa, he decides to fight in an underground mixed martial arts fight in Brazil.

 

HEROES

Director: Manish Pandey

Country: USA, Running Time: 111 min

HEROES tells the story of five legends of motorsport, whose lives are intimately intertwined and interconnected as they all scale the heights of their sport, while contending with profound personal challenges along the way.

Preceded by

FIVE FOOT 280

Directors: Joshua Harding, Matt Klug

Country: USA, Running Time: 4:44 min

Documentary short puts you in the head of professional drag racer Jasmine Salinas – a quiet, introvert who comes from a family of badass racers. She takes us through her adrenaline-filled world of driving a 3,500 horsepower car while describing the challenges of being a female in a male-dominated sport.

 

NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984)

Director: Thom Eberhardt

Country: USA, Running Time: 95 min

A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls fighting against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists.

 

PARIS IS BURNING (1990)

Director: Jennie Livingston

Country: USA, Running Time: 71 min

This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag-ball scene. Made over seven years, Paris Is Burning offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion “houses,” from fierce contests for trophies to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia, transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens, and trans women—including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza—Paris Is Burning brings it, celebrating the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community.

 

ROAD HOUSE (1989)

Director: Rowdy Herrington

Country: USA, Running Time: 114 min

Dalton (Patrick Swayze) is a true gentleman with a degree in philosophy from NYU. He also has a flip side – he’s the best darn bar bouncer in the business. When Dalton’s brought in to clean up the Double Deuce, a popular establishment that become particularly rowdy, his calm is put to the test by the town bully.

 

ROAR (1981)

Director: Noel Marshall

Country: USA, Running Time: 102 min

No animals were harmed in the making of this movie, 70 members of the cast and crew were. Wildlife preservationist, Hank, lives harmoniously alongside a menagerie of over 100 untamed animals on a preservation in the African plains. When his wife and children arrive for a visit, a long-brewing battle for dominance between the lions erupts and threatens their very lives.

 

SHE DIES TOMORROW

Director: Amy Seimetz

Country: USA, Running Time: 84 min

A woman’s conviction that she will die tomorrow spreads like a contagion through a town.

 

SUZI Q

Director: Liam Firmager

Country: USA, Running Time: 98 min

Film tells the story of the trailblazing American rock singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro, who helped redefine the role of women in rock n’ roll when she broke out in 1973.

 

8TH ANNUAL SATURDAY MORNING NIGHT CARTOONS

Director: Various

Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min

For the 8th year in a row Sidewalk programmers have compiled an awesome selection of 1980’s and 90’s cartoons and vintage commercials. So this year is a little different… but, we still believe in tradition and sugar cereal and party. So limit the cereal bar to your car, flip the schedule and join us for the drive-in edition of Saturday Morning Night Cartoons. There are still likely to be many festive surprises! Party on.

 

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