The crowd waits at ASFA for the Off the Beaten Path series to begin screening. Photo by Baili BighamThe crowd waits at ASFA for the Off the Beaten Path series to begin screening. Photo by Baili BighamBaili Grace Bigham - Entertainment Columnist
bbigham@uab.edu

18 years of Sidewalk Film Festival down, and we can’t wait for more. Birmingham’s pride and joy flexed its muscles as thousands of tourists traveled and watched some of the nation’s most talked about indie films. The weekend’s festivities have come to a close, but we’re not ready to let go.

I was able to fit in a handful of films and still walk around the downtown Birmingham theatre district to soak in the festival’s atmosphere. The festival, while spread out, filled up each block with food trucks, music, and entertainment galore. Most of my time was spent at the Alabama School of Fine Arts building. I couldn’t resist the VIP lounge. Being that Birmingham decided to crank up the heat, the air conditioning and free flowing water was enough to keep me coming back. Revelator’s bottomless pit of cold brew coffee was also a nice touch (twist my arm).

Here are some of the films I must talk about:

“Morris from America” (ASFA: Recital Hall, Saturday 3:50-5:20 pm)

This proficiently crafted film follows the story of 13-year-old hip-hop enthusiast, Morris and his playfully caring father and takes us on a journey through the looking glass of a black American boy into an all white German town. With dynamic characters that endure struggles of parting ways with their home and dislocating all things familiar, the film gives the audience a feel-good time the whole way through. The film was given an encore the next day after popular demand.


Sunday Shorts: Off the Beaten Path (ASFA: Black Box, Sunday 2:45-4:15 pm)

Showing a series of nine short films by nine different filmmakers, four of which stuck out to me among the bunch.

“Death$ in a $mall Town” by Mark Jones
Runtime: 7 minutes

This tongue in cheek film showed a mayor of a small town speaking to a crowd about its recent success and how he insidiously had a hand in it. The satirical humor given way through masterfully crafted cinematography.


“B O R N” by Ty Obsxura
Runtime: 3 minutes

Being the shortest film of the nine, Obsxura gave dark news a beautiful face in a euphoric setting. The stunning images and poignant emotion owned the eyes of the audience.


“It Has to be You” by Conrad Rothbaum
Runtime: 14 minutes

This film had a Quentin Tarantino-esque feel about it with its nonlinear take on a single crime with three different perspectives. The effects were flawless and had us all on the edge of our seats.


“Killer” by Matt Kazman
Runtime: 20 minutes

This unorthodox film gave humor to a prepubescent youngster beginning his journey into manhood with the tagline: “when Dusty masturbates for the first time, bad things happen.”

The festival came to a close with an award show at the historic Lyric Theatre that night and put a perfect cap on another successful weekend. If you missed out on those special three days, there is always next year with plans already in line for the festival to have its own place at the Pizitz Building that is in process of being restored.

About - Student Media

UAB Student Media is the home of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s student-run media outlets. They include Kaleidoscope , an award-winning weekly newspaper; BlazeRadio, our 24-hour online radio station live on the TuneIn app; Aura, a much-heralded literary arts magazine; and UABTV, original, web-based video programming. UAB students operate all media. The articles, posts, newscasts and opinions are solely those of its student writers, producers, editors, deejays, etc. and do not reflect that of the university, its administrators or the Student Media advisors.

 

survey button3

EQUIPMENT CHECKOUT FORM FINAL

EQUIPMENT RENTAL BTN