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For Your Holiday Viewing Pleasure: This Year’s Bicycle Film Festival

Daniel Gad in White Eye, a film by Tomer Shushan

The Bicycle Film Festival presents four programs of films that celebrate, star, and just enjoy bikes and the people who ride them. This year's festival features short narrative works, films about how bicycles can change the world, bikey adventures, and urban bicycling. Each program includes a range of film styles, such as documentary, musical, and animation.

Tickets are available on a sliding scale, from $10 to $20 for individual programs, or $27 to $75 gets you a festival pass that allows you to watch all four programs.

The Cinematic Shorts program includes the Oscar-nominated White Eye, which was shot in one take at night in Tel Aviv, about a man who tries to get back his stolen bicycle. That program also includes a wide-ranging tour of New York with Blood Orange’s Call Me, and many others.

The Urban Bike Shorts program includes a look at a youth bike organization that is profiled and treated like a gang by cops, the quarantined streets of Sao Paulo as filmed by bike couriers, "A love letter to the splendor of winter through the eyes of a female bicycle courier in the midst of a Canadian deep-freeze," and others.

Cycle for Change showcases a film about bike couriers in Europe challenging Uber Eats, about the lack of bike infrastructure in Monterrey, Mexico, about "a collective of cycling communities in Los Angeles fighting for protected bike lanes and road safety," and others.

Transportation Alternatives is a sponsor for this program.

The fourth program, Adventure Shorts, explores mountain biking in La Paz, Bolivia, a 240-mile gravel road bike race through Minnesota, and Malawian women using bikes to get to school, among other subjects.

For twenty years, the Bicycle Film Festival toured the world, raising money for bicycle advocacy groups with screenings sponsored by local bike-friendly businesses. In some years the festival spanned 100 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Boulder, Davis, Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Moscow, Mexico City, Capetown, Istanbul, Sydney, and Zurich, and reached an audience of over one million people.

Plans were afoot to hold the festival's 20th anniversary screenings in 2020 - and then you-know-what happened.

In 2021, the festival hosted a virtual tour of "greatest hits." While audience members could watch from anywhere, local hosts sponsored the screenings and advertised their work to improve bicycling for everyone. The Bicycle Film Festival hosted ninety "local" screenings this year, helping to raise tens of thousands of dollars for bicycle advocacy organizations throughout the U.S.

While festival organizers hope to hold some in-person screenings in 2022, the films can all be watched from anywhere in the world during the festival screening periods.

It premiered in New York on Friday, and the first screening period is running now through January 9.

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