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Gearing Up for Inaugural New Zealand Bicycle Film Festival

The fortnight-long NZBFF launches at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Wellington on April 5 and is crammed full of bicycle-related films and events. Workshops, panel discussions, competitions and screenings for schools have been programmed alongside internationally acclaimed movies and, of course, the best two-wheeler reels from the archive’s collection.

From the animated cobblestones of Belleville to archival footage of Aotearoa’s earliest attempts to master the velocipede, fanatics, novices and the bi-pedally curious will find something in the NZBFF to enjoy and learn.

Fancy yourself a speed demon? Come along to Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision between 5pm and 6pm on Friday 8 April for Goldsprints, where our friends from Bicycle Junction will set you up to race your friends or the clock for a chance to win some great prizes. Or take your two-wheeled baby for a check up, courtesy of a mechanical expert from the Mechanical Tempest, on-site at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision from 3pm till 7pm on Saturday 9 April.

There’s also a schools’ presentation: Kids n’ Bikes in Black n’ White. For a gold coin entry each, students can see what bike life was like when our parents, grandparents and great grandparents were kids.

The crew from The Big Bike Film Night have also joined the NZBFF programme, offering Wellington two opportunities to see their "absolutely breath-taking" range of short bike films from around the world. Now in its second year, 2016’s Big Bike Film Night tour has already enjoyed sell-out screenings in Rotorua, Taupo, and Cambridge. Bike fans in Wellington would be wise to book now for a chance to see this "unprecedented" collection.

And thanks to Wellington City Council, you can cycle to any of the festival events and park your bike indoors while you enjoy what’s on screen inside.

Festival Programme

Launch evening (by invitation) - 6pm, Tues 5 April

Pee Wee's Big Adventure - 7pm, Wed 6 April (USA, 1985) 91min G
When Pee Wee's beloved red bike is stolen, he must set out across the U.S. to find it! Take a spin on Tim Burton's directorial debut!

Breaking Away - 7pm, Thu 7 April (USA, 1979) 96min PG
Part coming-of-age story, part compelling sports film, this comedy follows young cyclists dreaming of becoming competitive riders.

Bikes vs Cars - 6pm, Fri 8 April & 2.30pm Sat 16 April (Sweden, 2015) 90min Exempt
This documentary explores how cyclists around the world are trying to make their cities more enjoyable to ride in, and the obstacles they're up against. A panel discussion will follow the Friday 8 April screening, focusing on cycling issues in Wellington. Watch a video of the panel discussion here.

The Triplets of Belleville - 2:30pm, Sat 9 April (France/Belgium, 2003) 81min PG
Richly detailed and loaded with surreal touches, this animation set during the Tour de France is an utterly charming story for all ages.

Bikes for Africa - 4:30pm, Sat 9 April (NZ/Australia, 2012) 68min Exempt
Two documentary makers attempt to help setup a self sustainable bike workshop in rural Namibia with a container load of donated bikes.

The Big Bike Film Night - 7pm Sat 9 April & 7pm Wed 13 April (various origins & dates) Exempt 115min + 15min interval
Dedicated to the love of cycling, these short films are original, educational, entertaining and most importantly of all – inspirational. "The Big Bike Film Night connects cycling fans through the art of imagery, storytelling and incredible filmmaking," says Curator and Event Director, Brett Cotter. "Yet you don’t have to be a cyclist to relate to these stories, there’s something here for everyone." Visit the official website for The Big Bike Film Night.

A Cinematic Century of Cycling in NZ - 7pm Thu 14 April & 4.30pm Sat 16 April (NZ, various dates) Exempt 60min
From Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision's vaults comes a fascinating compilation of archival cycling footage from 1907 onwards

unReal - 7pm, Fri 15 April & 7pm, Sat 16 April (USA, 2015) 60min G
Do not miss this stunning MTB film that celebrates breaking free from the confines of reality and venturing into a boundless world. Screening with a short 1985 home movie of mountain biking in Wellington.

The New Zealand Bicycle Film Festival is supported by Wellington City Council’s Communities on Bikes Fund.