The news came my way Thanksgiving weekend, a weekend already filled with plenty of stress and hand wringing due to a move into a new home whilst battling a couple of different illnesses. During times like these, all a guy wants is a little good news, ya know? But this wouldn’t come to be. No, I received the news that Erik Jambor would be resigning as Festival Director of the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham, Alabama. Shockingly bad news. Regular readers of Film Threat have no doubt seen my Sidewalk ramblings over the past few years where I served as a festival juror and documented my festival experiences with a lot of naughty language. You will also know that this is my favorite film festival event all year and that I regard many of the Sidewalk staff members as family. This being the case, I took the news hard and was understandably pissed off. Yes, I instantly became concerned about the future of Sidewalk, but mostly I was upset that my dear friend felt he needed to leave behind this amazing event that he helped create and nurture for the past nine years because of some “”organizational changes” implemented by the Sidewalk board of directors. Sidewalk was Erik’s lifeblood. Well, to me it appeared to be his lifeblood. I dunno, maybe he has a kickass nudie mag collection that’s nearer and dearer to his heart”¦but I doubt it. Sidewalk was Erik’s heart and his passion helped inspire an entire filmmaking community in Birmingham, as well as many other filmmakers worldwide. I’m proud to know a person like him and am deeply saddened that things had to come to this. And I’m not alone.

About a week later, once Erik made his official statement that he would be resigning from Sidewalk, anger and sadness poured in from all sides, mostly the Birmingham filmmaking community. Many insist ““ NO JAMBOR, NO PEACE. At first, I agreed with them. Being that a huge chunk of the festival’s heart and soul just walked out the door, it was logical to think that we had reached the end of the Sidewalk. But a couple of weeks have gone by and I’ve thought back quite a bit on my adventures in Birmingham. And you know what I remember the most? It’s all of the different people who would come up and introduce themselves, whether they be local filmmaker, festival staff member, volunteer, or movie lover, and all of them not in the least bit shy about telling me how much the festival means to them and Birmingham. It would happen all weekend long and I never grew tired of hearing it. Sidewalk was born of Erik Jambor’s passion and is been kept alive for nearly nine years by this amazing community of people with their overwhelming pool of talent, local pride and undying love of film. These people are the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival and with a passion like theirs, the Sidewalk will never die.

An end of an era has been reached and it’s a shame that it had to end like this, but change isn’t only inevitable, it’s also healthy, even though things may seem scary at first. But rest assured, good things are on their way – for the people directly affected by this change, for Sidewalk and for the Birmingham filmmaking and movie loving community. The show must go on and Birmingham will make sure that it does. Erik should be proud.

Long live Sidewalk.

Posted on December 12, 2006 in Blogs by

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  1. Michael Ferraro on Tue, 12th Dec 2006 7:14 am 

    I read that a couple of days ago and was wondering how you felt about the situation. Hard times ahead. Do you think they’ll want to bring you back as a juror next year? And, would you want to do it?

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  2. Eric Campos on Wed, 13th Dec 2006 12:31 pm 

    I don’t know, Little Mike. Love lift us up where we belong.

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  3. Michael Ferraro on Fri, 15th Dec 2006 11:17 am 

    Where the eagles fly?

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