BACK TO THE SIDEWALK

The Pre-Game Show

“I’m really disturbed by how calm you are about this.”

That was Chris Gore talking to me as our relaxing two hour layover in Atlanta had suddenly become a mad dash to catch our flight that was getting ready to lift off in a couple minutes. How could this happen, you ask? A few pints and a PSP, that’s how. We had spent a great part of our layover at one of Atlanta airport’s eateries/watering holes having lunch, drinking beer (actually, I think I was the only one drinking beer, which would explain the aforementioned calm) and pouring over Chris’ PSP, complete with external speakers. So, if you’re reading this and you happened to be one of the few in that same eatery along with us, yes, that was us playing Star Wars breakbeats, random downloaded oddities from the Web and a trailer for a film called “My Big Fat Independent Movie.” You’re welcome.

We weren’t very far from our gate at all, so we decided to use as much of our layover time for leisure activities. But upon arrival at our gate, ten minutes before departure, we learned that our flight had changed to a gate all the way on the other side of the airport. Atlanta’s airport is fairly large in size, so being that we had about ten minutes to make it to our plane, one can’t be surprised to know that panic had begun to take hold. Nothing a little alcohol buzz couldn’t handle.

I’ll spare you details of our sprint through the airport, the shoving aside of children and the elderly and the tears shed. Just know that whatever panic had surfaced, it was all unnecessary excitement. We made our flight, just barely, and we were on our way, back to Birmingham, Alabama. Back to Sidewalk.

Stuff on the Sidewalk

The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival was going down again in Birmingham, Alabama, September 23 – 25. Regular readers of this site will recognize this event as a must attend festival every year. Great movies. Great people. Great times. We couldn’t wait to go back. Chris was returning to attend the festival’s special Thursday night screening of “My Big Fat Independent Movie,” a film he both wrote and produced. Sadly, he was only able to stick around for the rest of that evening as he needed to return to California for another screening of his movie in San Diego. I, on the other hand, was in for the long haul. I was on the narrative feature film jury again, the kind of jury duty that I would never try to weasel my way out of. My fellow jury members this year were filmmaker and feature film editor Curtiss Clayton (his feature film directorial debut, Rick, starring Bill Pullman, screened at Sidewalk last year) and producer Alison Dickey. Alison produced Alison Bagnall’s “Piggie,” which won the Special Feature Film Jury Award at last year’s Sidewalk. Her producer credits also include features “Skipped Parts” and “How to Make the Cruelest Month.” I knew neither of these people personally, so one could only hope for the best. And as it turns out, the best is what I got. More on that later. And I did find it comforting that there were two other strangers out there somewhere going through the same screeners of the juried features that the folks at Sidewalk had supplied us a few weeks leading into the festival. As it turns out, this year’s Sidewalk narrative features program was a strong one, so sitting through the seven or so screeners before we actually embarked on our trip to Birmingham could hardly be called work. In fact, it was an absolute pleasure. Sidewalk knows how to pick ‘em.

This year’s line-up:

NARRATIVE FEATURES
Americano – Opening Night Film ^ The Baxter – Closing Night Film ^ My Big Fat Independent Movie – Special “Kick Off” Screening ^ Loggerheads – Special Screening ^ Cavite ^ The Dry Spell ^ Four Eyed Monsters ^ Max & Grace ^ Men Without Jobs ^ Mutual Appreciation ^ Novem ^ The Puffy Chair ^ Swimmers ^ The Unseen ^ You Are Alone

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes VanZandt – Special Screening ^ Reel Paradise – Special Screening ^ The Boys of Baraka ^ Derailroaded ^ Favela Rising ^ In a Nutshell: A Portrait of Elizabeth Tashjian ^ Lucha Libre: Life Behind the Mask ^ Mardi Gras: Made in China ^ Music is My Life, Politics My Mistress ^ Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea

And, of course, an amazing line-up of shorts. Check out the full 2005 Sidewalk program here.

The story continues in part two of BACK TO THE SIDEWALK>>>




Posted on October 10, 2005 in Festivals by
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