The Bicycle Film Festival returns to Cape Town

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If you love riding and visual storytelling, this is not something to be missed. (Photo: BFF)
If you love riding and visual storytelling, this is not something to be missed. (Photo: BFF)
  • Bicycle Film festival will host two screenings in Cape Town next month.
  • Several local films will feature.
  • The selection of films will cover a wide variety of cycling-related stories.

The Bicycle Film Festival has been celebrating bicycles through art, film and music for 22 years.

In March, Cape Town locals will get an opportunity to experience this global phenomenon. Screenings will occur at the Labia Theatre on 10 March and at Maker's Landing on 11 March.

The Bicycle Film Festival made one visit to Cape Town previously in 2012. Dane Zijlstra and Thomas Spronk, from the Killat collective, decided it was time for the festival to return.

"I have an events background and saw this as an opportunity to touch base with the local cycling community, have fun, drink a few beers and watch some beautiful films," beamed Spronk. 

gravel bike
Fursa is the story of East African riders, racing an elite gravel event, in America. (Photo: Fursa)

Great venues - for true velo art films 

Two screenings will take place on the Cape Town Cycle Tour weekend. This should allow cycling tourists to enjoy a unique event, glimpsing Cape Town's cycling culture, on the eve of the world's most famous mass participation bicycle race.

The screening at the Labia Theatre will include films from the Select Shorts category. Expect diverse filmmaking styles, narratives, documentaries and animations from award-winning directors and emerging talents.

Some of the films on offer will include a young woman's struggle and her bike in Iran. And the inspiring story of Kailey Kornhauser and fellow 'fat cyclist' Marley Blonsky, both on a mission to change the idea that people with larger bodies can't ride bikes.

bicycle film
Return to Earth will take mountain bike film fans, on a global adventure. Including Hawaii. (Photo: Sterling Lorence)

You can race, tag and view 

The outdoor event at Maker's Landing on Friday 11 March, will see food and drinks on offer. It will also include an Alley Cat Race and Graffiti competition ahead of the outdoor screening.

Cycling shops from across the greater Cape Town area will be organising group rides to the event, including the crew from Khaltsha Cycles in Khayalitsha and the Langa Bicycle Hub. "There will be valet parking ensuring safe storage of bicycles, so we are encouraging visitors to arrive by bicycle," added Spronk.

The evening viewing will focus on Urban Bike Shorts that capture the spirit of street, youth, fixed gear, BMX and messenger cultures from passionate cyclists in cities worldwide

Some of the most notable films will be from the BMX crew, in Nigeria. And how Wandile Msomi moves through the streets of Johannesburg with adept skill, on his fixed gear bike.

gravel bike
The billing includes something for everyone, who has a interest in bikes. (Photo: BFF)

Supporting local storytellers on two wheels 

Organisers have committed to reinvesting any profits from the screenings into the local cycling film industry. The hope is that South African cycling culture continues to feature on the bicycle Film Festival lineup in years to come.

"Coming from Amsterdam, I fell in love with the local cycling culture. South Africa is such a great place for cycling, especially with the myriad of gravel roads and I would love to see that part of the cycling culture promoted through films in the future," said Spronk.

Tickets are priced at R75, excluding a minimal service fee.


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