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Wheels on Reels: the Best of the Bicycle Film Festival

by Adam Roy Oct 8, 2009
If it has two wheels and rolls, it’s probably been on-screen at the Bicycle Film Festival.

NOW IN ITS NINTH YEAR, the festival is an homage to bikes and bikers of all shapes and sizes, from alleycat racers and mountain freeriders to kids still on training wheels.

Each of these highlighted filmmakers draws something different from bicycles, whether it’s the joy of movement, a way to better society, or even a bit of their own souls.

The Third Wheel – Dir. Brian Schoenfelder

Set in New York, this socially-conscious documentary follows two pedicab, or bicycle carriage, owners as they face pressure from government regulators. Besides face to face interviews, the film shuffles footage of the main characters navigating New York City’s frantic traffic with (surprisingly confrontational) hearings with local regulators.

I Love My Bicycle: the Story Of FBM Bikes – Dir. Joe Stakun

The chronicle of Fat Bald Man, a t-shirt-business-turned-bike-company started by teenager Steve Crandall in the early ’90s. The movie itself is pure ’90s skateboarder DIY, its story told through grainy home video footage and talking head-style interviews with a seemingly endless stream of folks in tattoo sleeves.

Anima D’Acciao (Soul of Steel) – Dir. Daniel Leeb

The centerpiece of this year’s festival, Anima D’Acciao, has an introspective feel to it. The film follows legendary Italian bicycle frame-maker Ciocc as he designs and constructs a frame for a modern fixed-gear bike, expounding along the way on subjects such as the relationship between creator and creation.

Where Are You Go – Dir. Benny Zenga and Brian Vernor

Where Are You Go follows a group of riders through the Tour d’Afrique, a 7,000 mile trans-African bike race from Cairo to Cape Town. Though it’s an ambitious concept for a documentary, the film does an impressive job capturing both the vastness of the African terrain and the lives of the people that the racers meet as they navigate it.

Community Connection

Want to visit the festival? Check its tour schedule to see if your town is on the agenda.

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