The Bicycle Film Festival Returns….

Episode 003 of The Cycling Europe Podcast was film-themed. One of the participants – Harry Bunnell – has alerted me to the upcoming Bicycle Film Festival in London, the details of which are below. Before you read, you might want to catch up on that podcast from November 2017. Here it is:


Bicycle Film Festival returns to London on 22nd – 25th November 2018. The festival was started by Brendt Barbur in New York in 2001. After he was hit by a bus riding through the city, Brendt decided he wanted to start an arts and culture programme to celebrate cycling and get more people on bikes.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 09.45.15Now in its 18th year, the Bicycle Film Festival has been to over 90 cities around the world and has been instrumental in building a global cycling community. We return to London with an exciting line-up of shorts and feature films from around the world, plus a host of supporting events and parties.


Thursday 22nd November

The festival launches on Thursday evening with a party at London’s iconic cycling café Look mum no hands! on Old Street. Brendt Barbur will introduce the evening with a preview of the upcoming festival, followed by a drinks reception and DJ set with a backdrop of archive cycling films curated by the British Film Institute.

Friday 23rd November

Presenting the latest feature length film by Rapha, in collaboration with Thereabouts, at London’s celebrated Picturehouse Central cinema. The film follows former pro-cyclist Angus Morton and his intrepid friends as they take on an epic journey through Canada. Following the screening there will be a Q&A with Angus Morton and the stars of the film.

Saturday 24th November

Join a fantastic line-up of speakers for a panel debate at Hackney Picturehouse that explores “The effect of culture on cycling advocacy in London”. With London at a crossroads, this panel will explore how culture can affect policy changes in order to make the city truly cycling friendly.

Hosted in the Attic at Hackney Picturehouse, and chaired by Laura Laker, the panel will include Fran Graham (Campaigns Coordinator, London Cycling Campaign), Louise Gold (Head of Behaviour Change, Sustrans), Erik Tetteroo (Managing Director, Dutch Cycling Embassy), Caspar Hughes (Director, Rollapaluza), Rachel Aldred (Reader in Transport, University of Westminster), and Adam Campbell (Partnership Manager, Transport for London).

Following the debate, we stay at Hackney Picturehouse for the first of the weekend’s screening programmes, from 4pm-10pm. The four programmes of short films include: Worldwide Cycling Shorts, Animation, Cinematic Shorts and Urban Bike Shorts.

On Saturday night Number 90 Bar & Kitchen hosts a public party, bringing together the great and good of the cycling community to celebrate BFF’s return to London. Located on the canal at Hackney Wick, Number 90 is famed for its great DJ sets and excellent food. A trio of DJs will be playing house, disco, funk and soul including Brendt Barbur (New York), Cusp DJ (Brixton) and headliner Mr Redley (Cafe au Lait).


Sunday 25th November

Sunday starts early with a gravel ride out to Kent, departing from London Velo in Deptford at 8am. The stunning 75km route takes in the best tracks and off-road routes Kent has to offer. This will be an unsupported ride, with maps provided in advance and check points throughout. The ride will finish at West Norwood Picturehouse, with free beers and food laid on for the riders.

Following the ride, we host our second screening programme at West Norwood Picturehouse, South London’s newest cinema venue. It will kick off with two shorts programmes; Worldwide Cycling Shorts and Cycle Sport Shorts, followed by two feature length films; Moser: Dare to Win and a special 70th anniversary screening of Bicycle Thieves.

Film Programme

Programme 1: Outskirts II – The Big Lands

Following four riders on a month-long odyssey through some of the most remote landscapes in the world. The Big Lands is the story of a 2,000-kilometre adventure on the Trans-Labrador Highway in Canada, which connects handfuls of communities struggling to survive, stretching the sense of what is possible on a bike.

Programme 2: Animation

A rich collection of animated films about the bike, curated by acclaimed filmmaker and animator Lucinda Schreiber, who created the artwork for this year’s festival. Includes a rare screening of Michaël Dudok de Wit’s Oscar-winning animation Father and Daughter (2000).

Programme 3: Cinematic Shorts

An inspiring programme that examines the cultural context of cycling. From a brief history of the bicycle, to ghost bikes in New York; explore the significance of the bicycle in communities around the world. Includes several hits from major film festivals; The Climb by Michael Corvino from Sundance Film Festival and Cycles by Joe Cobden which screened at Toronto Film Festival.

Programme 4: Urban Bike Shorts

Short films documenting urban bike communities in cities around the world, from alley cat races in Canada to young people finding an escape from gang violence in London. Includes Bear (2011) by Nash Edgerton, nominated for the Palme d’Or for best short film at Cannes.

Programme 5: Worldwide Cycling Shorts

The opening programme on Sunday brings together a set of short films that showcase the bicycle as a force for good. From the story of Dhaka’s only female rickshaw driver, to the quest of three Nepalese women spreading the sport of mountain biking; witness some amazing tales of human endeavour on two wheels.

Programme 6: Cycle Sport Shorts

A set of films exploring the sport of cycling in its various forms. From an incredible mind-bending neon themed night ride by professional mountain bikers, to the thrilling account of the Tour du Rwanda soundtracked by Fela Kuti.

Programme 7: Moser – Dare to Win

Francesco Moser is still the Italian cyclist with the greatest number of victories; a legend on two wheels, born and raised in Trentino but renowned all over the world. The team making the documentary dedicated to his amazing career followed his progress over the course of a year, on his familiar terrain. In doing so they recount not only the champion himself, but also create a unique portrait of the man, his family and the community of Palù di Giovo, a small town in the province of Trentino, where he was born and where he has always returned; an unusual portrait of the great champion. An exceptional human adventure that documents the cycling legend’s deep bond with his homeland and retraces his feats, in the company of Merckx, Saronni and Hinault.

Programme 8: Bicycle Thieves – 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Vittorio De Sica’s masterpiece of Italian neorealism cinema. Set in post-war Rome, it follows the misfortunes of down-on-his-luck Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola). Over the course of the day they embark on a fruitless hunt for the father’s stolen bike, which he desperately needs to work and support the family. In 1952 Bicycle Thieves topped Sight & Sound’s inaugural greatest films poll and remains a favourite among both critics and audiences today.


Picturehouse Central

Hackney Picturehouse

West Norwood Picturehouse

Look mum no hands!

Number 90 Bar & Kitchen

London Velo, Deptford

Categories: Cycling

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