In its 19th year, Sidewalk Film Festival has perfected its own personal trifecta of hospitality, networking, and pure fun. Encouraging attendees to break out of their shells and get to know one another, Sidewalk likes to mix filmmakers and their audiences in an unusual town with unusual activities. The atmosphere at Sidewalk is electric with creativity and collaboration as filmmakers and film-lovers socialize between screenings and participate in panel discussions. Low-priced passes and a condensed footprint encourage filmmakers and attendees alike to connect during this 3-day, weekend festival with true southern hospitality.

Praise for Sidewalk:
USA TODAY: "One of the Top 10 Places for a Fabulous Film Festival”
MovieMaker magazine: “The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World”
The Washington Post: "Summer Preview" film festival
TIME Magazine: "Top 10 Festivals for the Rest of Us"

Word on the Sidewalk:
“You start to get to know about the festivals that treat filmmakers well and the ones that don’t, and Sidewalk is one of the names that always came up as far as being great to filmmakers.” Joe Swanberg

"Seriously, you guys have some magic going on down there, and I will encourage everyone I know to check it out." Jay Duplass

Awards & Prizes

Jury award for Best Narrative Feature: $1,000
Audience Choice Award for Narrative Feature Film: $250

Jury award for Best Documentary: $1,000
Audience Choice Award for Documentary Feature Film: $250

Jury award for Best Narrative Short: $500
Jury award for Best Animated Short: $250
Audience Choice Award for Short Film: $150

Jury Award for Best Documentary Short: $500
Audience Choice Award for Documentary Short: $150

Kathryn Tucker Windham Storytelling Award $1000

Audience Choice Award for Alabama Film: $250

Best Student Film: $250

Programmers' Award for Feature Film (any category): $500
Programmers’ Award for Short Film (any category): $250

Rules & Terms

Submission to the Sidewalk Film Festival ("Sidewalk") constitutes an agreement with all festival terms and conditions, and permission to exhibit the work during the festival if selected. Sidewalk DOES NOT provide screening fees to submitted films. Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to submit the work to Sidewalk, that all statements made in this application are true and accurate, and that all necessary rights and clearances have been secured to screen the work at the festival. Due to potential copyright issues, Sidewalk will be unable to consider fan fiction/fan films without express written permission from the primary copyright holder. Sidewalk reserves the right to determine the final eligibility of any work submitted. Eligible works must have been completed after January 1, 2015.

Exhibiting films publicly in the Greater Birmingham Metropolitan Area prior to or within one week after the 2017 festival dates will prevent your film from competing in the 2017 Sidewalk Film Festival and may prevent the film from being accepted to the Festival. This includes projects available on the web. Work accepted to screen at the Festival will be categorized in competitive and non-competitive categories at the sole discretion of Sidewalk. If your submission will be available through a video on demand (VOD) or pay-per-view (PPV) service of any kind, on or before August 25, 2017, please indicate such when entering. The availability of your film prior to August 25, 2017 through such a service will make the film ineligible for competition and may, or may not, prevent the film from being programmed. Availability through such a service will be considered during the programming process and may impact programming decisions. However, decisions regarding programming films that have been screened elsewhere and/or are available through a video on demand service, pay-per-view service and/or any other service, venue, channel, theater or otherwise are solely up to the Sidewalk Film Festival staff.

If a film is accepted, entrant agrees to ship exhibition materials to the festival at their own expense, to arrive at the Sidewalk office by Monday, August 7, 2017. Sidewalk can only provide return shipping via ground delivery within the continental United States. Although every possible care will be taken with exhibition material in our possession, neither Sidewalk nor the Alabama Moving Image Association, Inc. accepts responsibility for loss or damage. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Below are available discount codes. Only one discount may be used. Use only an applicable discount. If you misuse these codes, you will be automatically disqualified without refund.

SWALUMN17: $5 discount for returning Sidewalk Alumni. A Sidewalk Alumni includes an Above The Line filmmaker (Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actor in a starring role) who has screened their film at the Sidewalk Film Festival in a previous year (1999-2016).

SWSTUDENT17: $5 discount for student films. A Student Film includes films produced or directed by individuals who are enrolled in school (college or graduate level) and carry a valid student ID at the time of the film’s production.

ALABAMA17: $5 discount for Alabama-produced films. Alabama Productions include films that have been fully or partially filmed in Alabama and/or fully or partially produced in the state of Alabama. Partial Alabama productions must include at least 1 scene filmed in Alabama and/or at least 20% of the total budget spent in the state of Alabama. Alternatively a film that has the participation of at least 1 above the line filmmaker (Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actor in a starring role) that currently lives in the State of Alabama and/or is an Alabama native can be considered an Alabama film.

14 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Jeremy Burgess

    As a native of Birmingham, this festival inspired me to write my own scripts and produce my own movies. And now that I've been to several film festivals, including lots in the Southeast, I realize just how spoiled we've been to have a world-class film festival in our backyard. Can't say enough good things about Sidewalk.

    January 2017
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    Adam Forrester

    Great Festival. Incredibly supportive. We will be back again soon!

    November 2016
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    Ann Kathleen Williams

    One of my favorite film festivals.

    October 2016
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    Southern Foodways Alliance

    Love Sidewalk! Easily one of my favorite fests

    October 2016
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    Tyler Russell

    If you're a filmmaker, you gotta go. Simple as that. It's an amazing festival, run by amazing people, hosting amazing films by amazing filmmakers.

    September 2016