All bicycle freaks, geeks and other peeps where together in the hall. In the back of this big and filled hall there was a big screen and all eyes were focussed on it. Nobody wanted to miss a thing, a wheel or spoke. The sound of a chain found its way into my ear and the ringing of a bell shook me awake. Yes, I was at the International Cycling Film Festival in Krakow. (List of the films are below)
This has been the 10th year anniversary of the festival. It started as a small film festival in Herne, Germany. But by time it got bigger, more professional and this reflected on the films. This edition in Krakow had 18 films, from animations, sketches till a lifestyle film about girls with a love for fixed gear bikes. It was my second time at the festival, and it was great to meet so many bike minded people. Last year my film played at the German edition, and we made plans to bring the festival to Groningen too. But let me tell you something about the films first!
A real joy to the eyes was: “Bendito Machine – Fuel the Machines”. This animation film was a psychedelic reflection on draining the earth by pumping the fossil fuel from it. It was in line with the thoughts many cyclists have, don’t use fuel, but use a bicycle. The film creates an own world, with strange machines, animals and plants. The music adds to this world too, and all in all it was a great see. Another animation was “Velodrool” from Estionia. A portrait on the darker side of bicycle racing.
From Canada came “The Man Who Lived On His Bike”, a short film dedicated to the filmmakers father, a man who already cycled 120.000 km’s and keeps on going. “Good bye bike” was from the same maker, and captures the feeling of passing one bike and getting another. Your first bike is as your first love, special in many kind of ways and always part of you.
Folding bike collective “Rakette Frankfurt” came with a short sketch “Vorsprung durch Forschung” on how they train their people to be the best of the best. On a folding bike… They organize folding bike races, where every contender needs to have a mustache, fake or real. The last film I saw from them made me laugh out loud, and also did this one. Many more films where played, but just 1 made it as the audience favorite and winner of the festival to win the “golden spoke”.
This was the short Polish film” Baikal Ice Trip” from Paweł Wicher and Kuba Rybicki. A film from two guys cycling lake Baikal, the biggest lake in Seberia. It was an 1000 kilometer adventure trough snow, ice, wind and sometimes a little sunshine. With temperatures plumbing till -30C it was the coldest winter in 50 years the locals said. And the guys had to defy these conditions to make it to the other side! Failure was not an option.
Next to the films there was also a special guest, Dr Albin. Dr Albin has an bicycle repair van, totally remade to fit every bicycle need. He fixed some bikes for free this edition, and smiles where on the faces of the owners. I can tell you, this man has an great passion for bicycles and his awesome van is the proof. Here you can check his website and get in touch with him if you’d like to know more.
This was the 10th year of the festival and it will not stop. Better, next year I will host the festival in Groningen, somewhere in the beginning of the year. From the plans we made, it’s going to be great! But before that, there will be the Herne / Germany edition on october 30/31st and contains of two days. One night of adventure films, co-programmed by me (if you make adventure films, get in touch, we’re still searching for entries) called the “Rough Conditions Adventure Film Festival” with films and discussions about the essence of adventure. The next day is the big festival day, with films, talks, exhibition, critical mass and delicious food from the velo-kitchen. So write down the dates in your agenda, jump on your bike and cycle to Herne!
This is a list of the films played on the festival
~ Tokyo – a bicycle trip (Tokyo/Germany)
~ Swieto Cyklizine – Krakow (Poland)
~ Radlust (Germany)
~ The Man Who LIved On His Bike (Canada)
~ Fixed on Fixed (Australia)
~ Bendito Machine – Fuel the Machines (Spain)
~ Baikal Ice Trip (Poland) Winner Audience Award!
~ De Benen van Amsterdam (Netherlands) 2nd place Audience Award
~ Vorsprung durch Forschung (Germany)
~ Velodrool (Estonia)
~ Le tour du monde en velib (France)
~ Good bye bike (Canada)
~ Historyczny Rajd Warszawa – Radom ( Poland)
~ She Builds (USA)
~ Ride (Germany)
~ The Meeting (Czech Republic)
~ Groen (Netherlands) 3rd place Audience Award
~ Time for Vacation (Estonia)
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