Love bikes? Love movies? Love drinking local beers with fancy foreign filmmakers? We know you do—which is why you’ll want to make space in your Memorial Day weekend for the 13th Annual Filmed by Bike festival.
Founded in 2003 as an impromptu fundraiser for the Multnomah County Bike Fair, Filmed by Bike has grown from a scrappy video night to a three-day celebration of the world’s best bicycle-focused short films. Now, after years of struggling to squeeze its expanding audience into the 230-seat Clinton Street Theater, the festival is upgrading to the historic Hollywood Theatre, conveniently located two blocks away from Velo Cult, the city’s premier combo bar-venue-bike-shop—resulting in some seriously cool crossover events. Here are our favorite pedal-powered picks:
New Belgium Street Party
May 22 from 5–9:30 pm, Velo Cult
Get the party started in the Portland streets at this Friday night fête, powered by New Belgium Brewing. Opening night shenanigans include a bike confessional storytelling both, slow bike races, and performances by the Sprockettes Bike Dance Troupe, with music by LoveBomb GoGo Marching Band and a lineup of live DJs. When you’re ready to settle down and watch a few flicks, join the conga line from the party to the theater. (Literally: we’re being promised a mobile dance party.)
The World’s Best Bike Movies
May 22 at 7 pm, Hollywood Theatre
The festival’s annual presentation of the “World’s Best Bike Movies” comprises some two dozen shorts documenting topics from extreme unicycling to pizza delivery. Based on titles alone, our top pick—not that you have to choose, since all films are under ten minutes—is “Tandem Bikes Are Worse Than Ikea,” a comedy from local FBB veteran Mike Vogel. (Our number-two choice is a 30-second scene from Portugal called “Goat riding a guy riding a bike,” for obvious reasons.)
Let’s Ride! Women in Racing + Riding
May 23 at 5 pm, Hollywood Theatre & 6:30 pm, Velo Cult
Okay, ladies, this one’s especially for you. Start with a screening of Kathryn Bertine’s Half The Road, a provocative documentary film delving into the passions and pressing inequalities in the world of women’s professional cycling. Swing by Velo Cult immediately following the film for a rapid-fire panel discussion with April Streeter, author of Women on Wheels, and Jackie Yerby of Portland’s Community Cycling Center, regarding the unique issues faced by female cyclists.
May 23 at 7 pm, Hollywood Theatre
These ten short films promise a second-hand adrenaline rush, as subjects take on self-supported rides in regions as beautiful as they are dangerous. The international line-up includes breathtaking footage from Italy, Ethiopia, Tajikistan and Peru, as well as local projects filmed in the Willamette National Forest and Oakridge, Oregon. Stick around after the show to see which flick will garner the coveted Golden Helmet Award.
Brewery Tour Ride with the Filmmakers
May 24 at 12pm, Velo Cult
Rub elbows with elite filmmakers at this only-in-Portland event celebrating the city’s best brews and bikes. Participants will pedal from pub to pub, sipping local beers and peppering the visiting directors with their most burning questions. This boozy Q&A includes a special Tasting Room presentation at Basecamp Brewing.
Filmed By Bike Festival, May 22–24 at the Hollywood Theatre