Bicycle Film Festival in SLC

Posted October 29, 2009 in
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On October 2-3, Salt Lake City was fortunate enough to host a stop of the first annual Bicycle Film Festival. The BFF was started by Brendt Barbur in 2001 after he was hit by a bus in New York City and is held in 39 cities around the world, including Tokyo and Sydney.

Featuring films to satisfy every style of cyclist out there, the festival screenings ranged from bmx shorts to full-length mountain bike documentaries. The seven programs were held at the Post Theater at the University of Utah over the two days, which seemed to be a perfect venue for the event with plenty of space for free bike valet parking across the street provided by the Bicycle Collective.

The first day began with a screening of Where Are You Go, a full-length film depicting a 7,000 mile bike expedition from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa, including a cyclist on a tall bike. The second program of the night consisted of 11 bike shorts, from fixie tricks and bike polo in Paris to an Italian animated LSD “trip.” The night concluded with an energetic after party at the Bay Leaf Café featuring a Goldsprints race where Salt Lake speed demons Greg Hebard and Jessica Gilmore each took away brand new bicycles from Bingham Cyclery.

Saturday’s program started with a short, then Klunkerz, a documentary on the evolution of the mountain bike. It was interesting to see how the concept began and evolved into what it is now, but as I’m not much of a mountain bike enthusiast, it seemed to drag a little. The bmx program followed, beginning with an interesting short about a couple of bmx kids who tour through Europe on a train. The highlight of the program was The Story of FBM Bikes, a documentary about the rise of DIY punk-rock bike company Fat Bald Men, made interesting and hilarious by founder Steve Crandall. A crowded after party at the Jackalope Lounge finished up the festival, which proved to be a success.

My only gripe about the BFF was the cost, $10 per screening or $27 for a weekend pass, which would have made my attendance impossible were it not for SLUG. Some of the money went to the Bicycle Collective, but hopefully next year those of us not riding around $4,000 road bikes will considered. For more information about the BFF visit