2011 marks the 11th anniversary of the ‘Bicycle Film Festival’ based in NYC, the 10th anniversary of Portland’s ‘Filmed by Bike’ and at least 5 years into ‘Bike Shorts’ (NYC). These are all innovative, community building bike + movie themed parties that evolved largely out of the DIY video scene that started with skateboarding, mountain biking & a ton of extreme trick vids. Needless to say there usually weren’t many women around.
That’s all changed.
Tuesday’s Best Movie Night Ever was a surprise, even though I was the one that organized the program. It sort of dawned on me when I was talking to at least 6 different women filmmakers in places from Oregon and Tennessee to Spain and Uzbekistan. The films were hugely varied in their styles and focus, but all were so amazingly human in their exploration of what life is like with a bicycle. There are still plenty of men in the room, behind and in front of the camera, but it’s no longer an extreme boys club. The perspectives and energy that female inclusion has created has focused more on global, urban and social issues that hope to improve and grow things even further.
Sara Kinney, Co-Director of Bike Shorts, was a huge part of the program in the films she personally created and in her generous help in lending part of the Bike Shorts catalogue. Ken Stanek, the other half of Bike Shorts, made the whole thing a reality by racing to lend us a cable so the projector would work. Elizabeth Press, from StreetFilms not only shot and lent some great short films but was there to introduce them and keep things fun when it seemed like the projector might not … work. Ayleen, from ‘Filmed by Bike’ was also enormously generous in connecting me to several women filmmakers who were all enthusiastic and supportive. It’s a great thing when collaboration works!
On the same day, Tina in San Francisco, who writes the popular City Girl Rides blog, did a lovely mention of The Bird Wheel. In it she writes:“I’m inspired … to bring women and community together through rides and … a website. I’ve always wanted to organize a ladies ride … but have yet to get on that wheel.”
Throwing parties, rides and a movie night is how it all begins. Use the internet to connect, but make it happen in real life. We’ll be there to help where we can. Go for it!