Festival draws 59 films from 19 countries May 6-8

COURTESY: FILMED BY BIKE - Filmmakers are getting more adventurous with bicycle films, including 'Off the Beaten Path' by First Tracks Productions at South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The 14th annual Filmed by Bike festival is May 6-8 at Hollywood Theatre.Filmed by Bike, now 14 years old and growing bigger every year, has attracted entries from around the world, with a filmmaker from India submitting a film this year.

But the China market hasn’t been tapped, yet.

“I’m hoping to see that change,” says Ayleen Crotty, festival director of the film festival, May 6-8 at Hollywood Theatre. “There’s a growing movement of bicycle riding in China.”

Italy and England and other countries, such as Switzerland, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal and India, will have entries, as will local filmmakers, as Filmed by Bike continues to attract better filmmakers and better films. There are 19 countries represented with 55 filmmakers and 59 films — documentaries, animation, love stories, etc.

“It’s getting way more serious,” says Charles Perry of Portland, whose “Cross American” documents a man’s journey on bike across the country, and who also shot Filmed by Bike behind the scenes footage this year. “You can see the quality’s much better. Amateur filmmakers are kind of getting pushed out.”

“Ayleen’s reached out to (filmmakers), but kept the community involved as well,” adds Manny Marquez of Hood River, who produced the Filmed by Bike trailer (, helped by Perry.

Along with screenings at the Hollywood, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., there’ll be filmmaker question-and-answer sessions, as well as the New Belgium Street Party, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, behind the Velo Cult Bike Shop and Tavern, 1969 N.E. 42nd Ave. For more:

Indian filmmaker Devansh Mathur has a movie, “Gotya,” about two two men riding on an adventure. Mathur has a love of bicyling and filmmaking, Crotty says.

COURTESY: FILMED BY BIKE - There are films from 19 countries represented in Filmed by Bike, including 'Rookie' by Damian Ineichen from Bonstetten, Switzerland.Broadening the reach helps Filmed by Bike, Crotty says.

“It’s neat to see that we have this global audience,” she says. “It’s a neat opportunity for us in Portland to see what’s happening all over the world.”

Perry’s film, up for the Local Award, follows Tony Kovicak as he rides across the country. Perry met Kovicak in Asheville, N.C., late last summer, shortly after the rider started his journey.

“I gave him a homework assignment, told him to film everything that he could,” Perry says. The two met in Walla Walla, Wash., as Kovicak rode through and Perry attended a concert, and then again in Hood River.

Kovicak came here for Filmed by Bike this week. “It’s like I met a friend for life,” Perry says, “and it has everything to do with biking.”

Perry grew up in Los Angeles, and got teased because he rode his bike everywhere. Now, he loves living in bike-friendly Portland.

“In a lot of cities, bicyling is not a form of transportation,” he says. “Here, it’s normal. In L.A., people look at me weird.

“Most people biking down there are people with DUIs,” he says, half-jokingly.

A film by Marquez last year, “IngerUcker,” about mountain bike racing, came in second for the coveted Golden Helmet Award as best in festival. In doing the very impressive festival trailer this year, Marquez set bicycling action against the backdrop of movies such as “Breaking Away” and “The Shining” with some rear projection and other old film techniques. After all, Filmed by Bike is about ... bikes and movies.

“A lot of people into (Filmed by Bike) are not filmmakers by trade, but inspired by biking,” Marquez says. “It’s a subculture; filmmakers and bicyling are both subcultures.”

Another local filmmaker, Conrad Kaczor, has a film called “Bicycle Tut” up for the Local Award. Kaczor plays the starring role, riding around the city while “tutting,” a form of “popping,” a dance form. “Tutting,” an homage to King Tut, is a

series of angular, geometric movement.

“I used to put headphones on and ride around Portland, feeling the music,” he says. “I kind of got really good at (‘tutting’ on bike).” He told his friend and fellow filmmaker Alexandr Beran about his talent, and he and Beran made the film two years ago.

“We were hoping this thing would go viral and it didn’t,” says Kaczor, a recent Northwest Film Center graduate. “Luckily, we applied for (Filmed by Bike) and it got accepted.” Kaczor and Beran plan a sequel.

Filmmakers continue to push things to the extreme in adventure, Crotty says, helped by technology, such as the GoPro camera, and also just going above and beyond and lugging equipment into remote areas. The films are becoming better, more professional.

“People keep pushing themselves and a lot of filmmakers are getting better at telling the story,” she says. “It’s not just about documenting the journey, but what is the story behind the journey.”

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