The Bicycle Film Festival wheels into Philly with its 20th run

2 minute read

The Bicycle Film Festival comes to Philadelphia this year with a celebration of bikes in urban cities worldwide. This year, the festival will be partnered with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, a member-based nonprofit organization, with tickets sold on a sliding scale that get you full access to the program.

“We've been working with the main organizing team to make the festival uniquely for Philly,” says Amanda Ruffner, communications manager of the Bike Coalition. “The combination of the festival’s medium and organizing theme presents a lot of opportunities for engagement and inspiration.”

A 20-year cycle

For 20 years, the Bicycle Film Festival has celebrated bicycles through art, film, and music. The festival has spanned worldwide, premiering in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Founded by Brendt Barbur, who wanted to turn his negative experience on a bicycle after being hit by a bus in New York into a positive, he kept the same energy with this year’s festival. “In a year of a global pandemic, economic strife, violent acts by racist groups, a contentious election period the bicycle boom worldwide is optimistic news to celebrate. Barbur says. We hope to offer a positive respite from all of this for people.”

The festival will feature Matt Sezer, who directed a film about Kurt Boone, the fastest foot courier in NYC as well as a film premiere from Mandy Weiss, one of the powerhouse organizers behind the Bicycle Film Festival and director of the 304 mile New York-to-DC protest bike ride organized last summer to recognize the existence and significance of Black lives. The Bike Coalition will screen a 90 minute selection of short films curated specifically with the city in mind.

“I was excited when the Bicycle Film Festival reached out to me, Ruffner said. “I was really impressed with the way they were able to adapt the event to something that was safe, and truly embedded with communities all around the world.”

Along with assistance from the Bike Coalition to make an authentic Philly festival, the selection of short films will be followed by an hour conversation about equity and inclusivity in Philly’s cycling communities by members of the Bicycle Coalition, Stephanie Fenniri, Malaku Mekonnen, Kieran Campbell, Lor Song, and Brenda Hernández Torres.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility

The 20th Annual Bicycle Film Festival runs from Friday, January 29 through February 7. Find out more about the festival and register for the event online.

Image Description: An artist rendition of a bike, with a blue and red circle that serves as the wheels, a triangle is shaped as the frame, a half-circle as the handlebars, and a slanted line as the seat. Colorful lines stripe from the shapes to the edges of the image's frame, the background is blue. A title reads in the top, far-right corner "20th Anniversary, Bicycle Film Festival."

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