Top 5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Miss the 17th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival
Sidewalk Film Festival: August 28-30, 2015
When it comes to Birmingham, attending the **[Sidewalk Film Festival](http://sidewalkfest.com/)** is a must. There are hundreds of reasons why you shouldn't miss out. Whether it is your first time or you are a Sidewalk pro, here are our top 5 reasons why you should NOT miss **[#sidewalk17](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SIDEWALK17&src=tyah)**.
###1. The Films! (Duh!)
Sidewalk features **[200+ films](http://sidewalkfest.com/schedule/)** that span every genre and appeal to every taste in a 3 day period. This includes the best in new, independent films, narratives, documentaries, features, short films, horror, and even animated… you name it, Sidewalk’s got it!
![A Dog Named Gucci-Sidewalk Film](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2017/01/a-dog-named-gucci-1.jpg)
###2. The Venues
Sidewalk provides a unique opportunity to visit and experience 11 of Birmingham’s best venues from the beautiful & ornate **[Alabama Theatre](http://alabamatheatre.com)** to the historic **[Carver Theater](http://www.jazzhall.com/carver/carver.htm)** all in one weekend. Each venue provides a distinct atmosphere that contributes to the overall charm of the festival. Another great advantage is that all venues are within walking distance of one another, but the free shuttle rides make venue-hopping that much easier!
![Alabama Theater - photo by Tamika Moore](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2017/01/al-theater-1.jpg)
###3. The Parties
If there is one thing that Sidewalk has become known for over the years, it is that it throws extravagant parties. There are nearly **[a dozen parties](http://sidewalkfest.com/festival-programming/)** from free community block parties to exclusive VIP soirees. Just a few of the party venues include the **[Kress Building rooftop](http://www.bhamwiki.com/w/S._H._Kress_%26_Company_Building)**, **[Saturn Birmingham](http://www.saturnbirmingham.com)**, **[Sloss Furnaces](http://www.slossfurnaces.com)**, Continental Bakery, and the **[Historic Rucker House](http://www.ruckerplace.com)**.
![Sidewalk Film Parties](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2017/01/sidewalk-parties.jpg)
###4. The FREE!
If you aren’t able to purchase tickets, you can volunteer in exchange for day, weekend, or party passes. If you can’t **[volunteer](http://sidewalkfest.com/volunteer/)**, Sidewalk Film Fest offers various **FREE** experiences in order to promote maximum community involvement. **[Sidewalk Central](http://sidewalkfest.com/sidewalk-central/)** is a free Block Party for the community to take part in during the festival. Enjoy a fun line up of talented bands, incredible local food, pop-up shops, unique interactive performances, Sidewalk merchandise, sponsor giveaways, and more!
There are also **EIGHT FREE** Sidetalk Panels & Workshops that offer unique opportunities for you to listen, learn, and ask questions about a range of film and industry topics. For the full line up, **[click here](http://sidewalkfest.com/festival-programming/)**!
![Sidewalk Central on 3rd Ave North - Photo by Crystal Wilkerson](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2017/01/block-party-free-1.jpg)
###5. The People
*“What I look for from a film festival is energy…. Sidewalk has energy in droves. It has energy and buzz ... What more do you want?”* – The Evening Sun
This energy directly comes from the thousands of creative, diverse, and welcoming fans, filmmakers, caterers, entertainers, sponsors, and hosts! Each of these individuals plays a huge role in breathing life into this festival. No other film festival has such a huge impact while at the same time radiating southern charm and hospitality. This is what attracts film makers from all over the world and keeps them coming back year after year.
![The Hookses at Sidewalk Film in 2014](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2017/01/sidewalk-2014-1.jpg)