Filmmaking seems like an unsolvable puzzle. With infinite moving and morphing pieces that must come together, the complexities are often concealed and misunderstood. When you conquer the process – it is revealed that only passion and perseverance can glue everything together. 

This was top of mind when Big approached the 2023 Sidewalk Film Festival sponsor video to celebrate the miracle of filmmaking.

In honor of 25 years of Sidewalk, we challenged ourselves to explore new areas. Our 2D and 3D opening sequence sought to inspire, intrigue and wow festival audiences and to give viewers an immersive experience.

As attendees and filmmakers lined up on the sidewalks of Birmingham’s Theatre District, they saw something they haven’t before: clues for decoding a custom alphabet cipher. We left hints in the program book, in a cryptic t-shirt and in colorful sidewalk-chalk stencils.

Attendees could use those breadcrumbs to solve the cipher on a one-of-a-kind website to engage more deeply with the festival experience and for the chance to win prizes, all while encouraging return visits to the year-round Sidewalk Cinema.

Creative endeavors, filmmaking and puzzles of all kinds aren’t easy to solve, but it’s a lot easier when you’re doing it with a community of curious people. And with the Sidewalk Cipher, hundreds of attendees answered the call for creativity and curiosity and successfully solved the puzzle. Prizes were given, goals were conquered.

Community, collaboration and secret codes… what will you find next at Sidewalk Film Festival?

The Sidewalk Film Festival brings international attendees and filmmakers to The Magic City each year. Big is a proud sponsor.