A feast of films devoted to the bicycle and all who ride it is pedalling through Canberra, Hobart and Melbourne in October. Two phenomenal collections are on offer with The Big Bike Film Night and the Cycle Chic Film Tour range of short films showcasing the colourful array of cycling genres at hand.
“Our vision with these events is to share the best cycling short films from around the world with our audiences,” says Curator Brett Cotter.
“These events focus on the ‘human interest’ side and cycling is the medium of storytelling on the big screen”. After extensively touring New Zealand, Cotter decided it was the ideal time to introduce these stirring film programmes to two wheel devotees in Australia.
“We aim to bring to film-goers stories that captivate us, stories that make us think, and most importantly of all, stories that inspire us to get out and ride,” says Cotter.
“You don’t have to be a cyclist to relate to these films, there’s something here for everyone”.
Movies by emerging and established film makers form the Cycle Chic Film Tour selection, with features that inspire, encourage and celebrate women who love to ride bikes.
A town planner whose big dream is to have a cycling lane in her home city (easier said than done – she’s in East Africa); mountain biking in Japan; a couple’s journey across America by bike, where love and adventure come together; women from Melbourne fixated on riding “fixies”; and a moving story set in Afghanistan, on how bicycles empower communities.
“We created our Cycle Chic Film Tour in response to a strong demand for more films featuring women riders. The stories are diverse, real, and touching. If anything, I would say this is a programme for the ‘thinking cyclist’, destined to appeal to all genders,” says Cotter.
The second half of the double-bill is the Big Bike Film Night which celebrates cycling in all its shapes and forms. Its breath-taking line-up includes a stylish look at London’s bike sub-cultures; the inspiring story of Georgena Terry who’s been building bicycle frames for 30 years; the challenge of cycling up the gruelling peak Mount Ventoux; a glimpse into BMX freestyling; and the compelling New Zealand mountain bike documentary ‘Muscles and Dreams’, about the building of the West Coast’s Old Ghost Road single-track trail, one of the great track-building feats of the modern era.
Together, the selection of films paint a picture of thriving, diverse cycling cultures across the world. “At the heart of this,” says Cotter, “is showing real people being part of some pretty extraordinary stories. The humble bike is the unifying factor and the collections capture the spirit of cycling, whatever your ride is”.
The sessions run from 9 to 21 October, starting in Canberra before heading to Hobart then back up to Melbourne.
Those in Melbourne looking to really celebrate National Ride2Work Day on Wednesday 18 October can do so at the Big Bike Film Night.
For venues and tickets, visit www.bigbikefilmnight.nz . Tickets are now on sale.
Cycle Chic Film Tour: Monday 9 October
Big Bike Film Night: Tuesday 10 October
Big Bike Film Night: Friday 13 October
Cycle Chic Film Tour: Tuesday 17 October
Big Bike Film Night: Wednesday 18 October, Thursday 19 October, Saturday 21 October