Highlights from the bicycle film festival

Bicycle Film Festival view outside with Bicycle Library bus parkedThe 2011 Bicycle Film Festival had the usual selection of odd, interesting and eye opening movies. I attended two showings on the Friday and Sunday evenings.

On arrival on the Friday evening, the amount of bicycles outside suggested it was going to be a sold out event. There was also the Bicycle Library parked outside which people were visiting but as we were running late (textbook behaviour!) we rushed inside.

Friday showing

Inside the contemporary looking Blackfriars centre we settled into our seats. It was sold out and the crowd was very lively awaiting the start of the movies. The Bilenky Junkyard Cross short film got everyone laughing. It featured a race course set up in a junkyard and had short interviews of people who had ridden the course. The dry humour was excellent and it was an entertaining film.

It was then off to Japan with Le Tour De Kagawa which was again highly entertaining in its pointlessness. A load of riders set off on a long ride to visit cafes that sell bowls of udon. Japanese style slurping featured heavily.

Things took a turn for the more sombre with Last Minutes With Oden. A film about Jason Wood and the death of his dog. A chap behind us with obviously strong feelings for not keeping animals as pets kept shouting “Let him be with his own kind”. Which added an annoying dimension to the bicycle film festival as people shouted to him to shut up!

Later on it was Wake Up To Muff. A film which drew large rounds of applause and cheers as it was from London based film makers Thom Gulseven and Ben Pook. The rider Virgil Tibbs rides around London delivering free muffins.

Bicycle film festival ticketStefan and Simone was an awe inspiring film featuring BMX tricks around the streets of Barcelona. Finally, things came to a conclusion with Racing Towards Red Hook and then it was off for drinks at the Juno Bar in Shoreditch.

Sunday showing

On Sunday, I went to the With My Own Two Wheels 6pm viewing. The Backwards Rider was a highly entertaining video by Ben Lenzner of a cyclist who always rides backwards.

The Brazilian short film Downhill in a Suit also stood out as two mountain bikers set off on a downhill course dressed in suits. The Trans Andes Challenge provided inspiration of an event to try one day. Finally, With My Own Two Wheels was a heart felt 44 minute movie about the experiences of five individuals who’ve had their lives changed by the bicycle.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this years Bicycle Film Festival and I’m sure I’ll be picking out a screening to visit next year.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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