The Bicycle Film Fest is returning to Toronto next week with a slew of films, art shows, discussions and parties.
The films, mostly shorts, will be screened Friday and Saturday at The Royal (608 College St.), with an art show at The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. W.) and after parties at The Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen St. W.), Bike Pirates DIY space (1292 Bloor St. W.) and the Hard Luck Bar
For a full festival schedule, visit the website.
The films come from all across the world, including a few local shorts, and explore a wide range of bicycling endeavours, from the whimsical and absurd, to the political and spiritual. The festival includes a film about Leslie Slowley -- a.k.a. The Backwards Rider, well known on Queen St. W. -- whom the Star wrote about last month. Director Ben Lenzner's 8-minute film on Slowley explores the man's "life and riding style."
One of the most intriguing aspects of the festival is a panel discussion on Aug. 10, moderated by Yvonne Bambrick, entitled "Building Bridges: How to tell good stories and win over non-cyclists at a dinner party.” With all the heated rhetoric around bike lanes and various wars on various vehicles, there has perhaps never been a more important time to hone these skills.
The festival, which travels to 28 cities around the world, is in its fifth year in Toronto. From the website: "Brendt Barbur, Founding Festival Director, was compelled to start the Bicycle Film Festival when he was hit by a bus while riding his bike in New York City. He insisted on turning his negative experience into a positive one. In 2001 Barbur started the Bicycle Film Festival as a platform to celebrate the bicycle through music, art and, of course, film."