2015 Sidewalk Film Festival

Filmmakers answer audience questions at the 2015 Sidewalk Film Festival.

The 20th annual Sidewalk Film Festival begins tonight. The event brings thousands of cinephiles to Birmingham’s theater district to watch hundreds of independent films. For a complete schedule and ticket info, visit sidewalkfest.com.

Here are five movies we’re looking forward to watching:  

“Call Her Ganda”

This documentary, which played in this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, looks at the 2014 murder of a transgender Filipina woman who many believe was killed by an American serviceman. The case sparked protests and the following trial exposed tensions in relations between the U.S. and the Philippines. (Showing at 1:15 p.m. Saturday.)

“The Guardians”

This investigative documentary looks into alleged abuses in the Nevada Guardianship and Family Court systems. The filmmakers make the case that many elderly people are being effectively kidnapped, with corrupt court-appointed guardians taking control of seniors’ bank accounts, isolating them from their families and placing them in institutions. (2:10 p.m. Sunday.)

“Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen”

Director  Rasmus Dinesen takes viewers across the globe to see the restaurants and chefs who have obtained Michelin Guide’s three-star rating, viewed by many as the highest achievement in the culinary world. The documentary shows the lengths restaurateurs go to to obtain the coveted distinction. (10 a.m. Saturday.)

“The Guilty”

In this Danish thriller (yeah there’s subtitles, but it totally looks worth it), a police officer expects a slow night when he pulls duty as a dispatcher. Instead, he gets a cryptic call from a terrified woman who’s just been kidnapped. Stuck in the police station, officer Asger Holm is forced to depend on others to solve the case. (4:40 p.m. Saturday.)

“Roll Red Roll”

The documentary examines a 2012 rape case involving football players at a Steubenville, Ohio high school. The work focuses on the community’s response to the incident and whether the young men involved were protected at the cost of the victim. (4:20 p.m. Sunday.)

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter: @DGaddy_Star.

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

I'm the assistant metro editor for The Anniston Star. I edit, post online stories and write the occasional story.