Bicycle Film Festival comes to Durham

New York City, London, Madrid, Helsinki, Tokyo, Hong Kong — and now Durham will all have an arts event in common starting Oct. 26.

The Bicycle Film Festival, an event taking place in cities around the world, debuts this Saturday at the Full Frame Theater in downtown Durham.

“If you like bikes, if you like arts, if you’re just curious — then you should come,” said Brendt Barbur, founding director of the bike-themed film festival.

Attend the festival:

Time: Friday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: Full Frame Theater at Durham’s American Tobacco Campus


The film festival is an exploration of the urban bicycling movement that draws artists, filmgoers, cyclists and nature-enthusiasts together for a day to celebrate happiness and togetherness through biking.

Durham’s festival includes three individual screenings starting at 2:30 p.m. with the “Greatest Hits from 2012,” followed by “Fun Bike Shorts” at 4:30 p.m. and “Urban Bike Shorts” at 6:30 p.m.

Filmmakers and bike enthusiasts from around the world submit biking films, and the best are chosen to fit each unique festival.

Anthony Pergolotti, a board member for Triangle Bikeworks who is partnering with the festival, said the idea of bringing the film festival to Durham came when Triangle Bikeworks members met Barbur at a children’s biking festival in New York.

“They really believed in our mission, so they supported us,” Pergolotti said.

Triangle Bikeworks hopes to make the festival an annual fundraising event in Durham, Pergolotti said.

“There is room for about 100 people at each showing this year, and we hope to continue to grow in Durham in the future,” he said.

Barbur started the event 13 years ago after being hit by a bus while riding his bike in New York.

“I decided I wanted to do something for bikers everywhere and bring them together,” he said.

After its first showing, the festival was well received, and he said people from all around the world started asking about it.

The Bicycle Film Festival has held more than 250 events worldwide since its creation.

“Our biggest festival was in New York City with over 25,000 people,” Barbur said.

Barbur said the Bicycle Film Festival’s goal is to inspire people.

“I want to see more people on bicycles, see people having fun and see people be happy,” he said.

The festival gives its profits to different organizations for each festival, but Triangle Bikeworks is their first-ever nonprofit organization.

“We’re really happy they decided to give us a shot,” Kevin Hicks, Board Chair at Triangle Bikeworks, said.

Triangle Bikeworks will use the profits to support their youth programs, Hicks said.

“In our youth leadership programs, we explore the possibilities of bicycling and help middle and high school students prepare for college or life after school,” he said.

There will be beer served by Triangle Brewing Company and entertainment from Durham-based JKutchma and The Five Fifths during the festival, followed by an after party at The Stack, Hicks said.

Pergolotti said their biggest hope is that the festival can grow.

“We want it to be something that can be sustaining, something that can get the excitement of cycling out into the community, and something that helps benefit the youth in Chapel Hill and Durham.”

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