Featuring 80 short films from 75 filmmakers, Portland’s Filmed by Bike film festival hits the Hollywood Theatre this weekend. The fest features high-octane adventure films, documentaries, animation, love stories, and more, all with one common thread: bikes.
Most of the films range from two to 10 minutes in length, with many highlighting the way bikes can connect people across culture and language barriers. The goal of the festival, which began in 2003, is to inspire “a culture where cycling is woven seamlessly into everyday life,” Filmed by Bike founder Ayleen Crotty tells the Mercury. Festival proceeds will go to local nonprofit NW Documentary, which offers a “Shoot and Bike” class to teach youngsters how to film while biking. (That sounds like a death sentence to me, but to each their own.)
It won’t stop with films, either: Velo Cult Bike Shop and Tavern, across the street from the Hollywood, serves as home base for festival-goers between films—but as the fest’s website warns, Oregon beer is strong, and you’re responsible for biking your drunk ass home.
Some of my favorite short films in the festival are Pedal to Peaks 2 (airing during the “World’s Best Bike Movies A” program on Fri May 5), which includes biking, skiing, and climbing; My Own Private Idaho (“World’s Best Bike Movies B,” Fri May 5), a street BMX film that features innovative tricks and creative camerawork; and Closer Than We Know (“Triumph,” Sun May 7), about the close connections that bicycles can create around the world. There’ll also be filmmaker Q&As, a raffle, and an “adventure night” (Sat May 6), in which people will do cool shit on bikes and you will watch them!
As festivals go, Filmed by Bike is a cheap one—full passes are $60. Even cheaper: The fest kicks off with a free street party in the back lot of Velo Cult (Fri May 5). It’s all ages, so if you’ve got kids, stick ’em in a Burley and bike on over. There’ll be plenty of bike parking, of course.