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Bike Film Fest Rides Into Town

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, August 27, 2009, at 02:28PM
Bicycle Film Fest 2009

An informal demographic review of comments shows that our readership includes a number of cyclists. They should be glad to know that the Bicycle Film Festival kicked off last night, and comes Downtown for screenings on Friday and Saturday.

This "celebration of the art and culture" of people-powered wheels runs until August 30th.

On Friday, August 28th, Program 1 begins at 7:30pm with the ten-minute "Made in Queens" and leads into "Where Are You Go" (Canada, 2008), the story of riders who spend four months on bicycles in a journey between Cairo, Egypt, and Cape Town, South Africa, with the Tour d' Afrique. It's directed by Bicycle Film Festival vets Benny Zenga and Brian Vernor.

Program 2 begins at 9:30pm, packaging ten short films that include "Red Hook Criterium" (2009), a nine minute short showing the streets of Brooklyn used by Cat-2 racers, bike messengers, and urban cyclists as a 16-lap bike track; "A Bicycle Trip" (2008), in which Italian directors Lorenzo Veracini, Nandini Namblar, Marco Avoletta tell the story of 1940s chemist Dr. Albert Hofman's infamous "trip" cycling home after a day's work in the laboratory researching the effects of LSD... all in a four minute film.

The official Friday night after-party is from 10pm until 2am, and billed as being at Charlie O's. Of course, Charlie O's no longer exists, and has been replaced by Down and Out in the ground floor of the Alexandria Hotel.

Interesting screenings continue Saturday.

Program 3 starts at 3:30pm and showcases four films, including five minute short "Cooking Up Bike Co-Ops in Los Angeles" and "The Third Wheel," a 65-minute documentary that explores New York's pedicab industry.

Program 4 starts at 5:30 and features "Keirin Queen/Onna Keirn OH," the 1956 Kiyoshi Komori Japanese film about the daughter of a fish store owner who gains bicycle skills from her routine of riding through the mountain route to the fish market, then begins training at the Nippon Keirin School.

"I Love my Bicycle: The Story of FBM Bikes" headlines Program 5, which starts with BMX-themed shorts at 7:30pm.

Program 6 includes the L.A.-filmed "Wolfpack Hustle: All City Team Race 2" in a group of urban shorts that starts at 9:30pm.

There is something for everyone, even if you don't quite qualify as a bike cultist.

BFF09/Los Angeles August 26-30 / Film Screenings: August 28 and August 29, Downtown Independent (251 S. Main)

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