Helmets Come Off to Celebrate The Bicycle Film Festival

My baby blue Raleigh succumbed to snapped brakes and old age last fall. Bikeless for the first time in 6 years, I walked over to CineCycle last night to watch other people cycle on the big screen at Bike Month Film Night.

By the time I arrived, kickstands were down and CineCycle was filling up. Hosted by Benny Zenga, filmmaker and producer of Toronto's Bicycle Film Festival (BFF), the screening featured short films and music, plus a sneak peek at what's coming up in this year's festival.

Before the event, I admit to Zenga that Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is the only cycling film that comes to mind. He tells me this a great place to start. Then he suggests checking out RAD, and mentions the BMX chase in ET, "but you've seen that right?"

Zenga's lineup last night showcased the diversity of bicycle films out there, including a Super 8 tribute to Toronto's Jet Fuel coffee shop, a profile doc on "bike girl" who designs cycling stencils and posters, an experimental piece called The List of Bicycle Messenger (about lists made by bike messengers) with a beautiful time-lapse segment, some funny oldies, and my pick of the evening, a pack of daredevil cyclists swarming through New York City traffic filmed from the bicycle's point of view.

The screening was an ideal venue to launch the BFF's new trailer, recently shot in Toronto. The world-touring festival of film, art, and music celebrating bicycles will take place in Toronto from August 19th to the 22nd.

So what does Zenga have in store for this year's BFF? "Don't want to plug," he notes, "but this one has been in the works for a while: Where Are You Go, a feature documentary about cycling across Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town will be screening in Toronto." [See trailer above for what looks like pure travel porn... Hmm... keep writing or check airfares to Cape Town?]. The film is Zenga's own and premieres at the New York BFF in a couple of weeks.

"This will be screening along with so many great films," he adds, "from a brand new animation Thoughts on My Bike by Toronto's Andrea Dorfman to short doc Made In Queens about the biggest boom box bikes you've ever seen to movies with titles like Put The Fun Between Your Legs about two rad woman riders from Orlando Florida, and Pirates of the Broadway which is, of course, about bike pirates riding down Broadway. "

"Then there are the parties and Bikes Rock show. Oh and the Art Show and Street Party."

The 9th Annual Bicycle Film Festival, Toronto edition, will take place August 19th to the 22nd, 2009.

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