There are film festivals for just about every region and demographic, but the Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival, which takes place May 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, is the only one in the country that focuses specifically on bicycle travel around the world. The annual event isn’t just a novelty. This year’s sixth iteration has 12 curated short films that are pretty terrific.
The festival jury, made up of local and national film and cycling enthusiasts, selected the 4-minute “A Nomad’s Life” by German-based adventurer Stefan Boehm for this year’s Grand Jury Award. The film was shot during a two-year trip Boehm took through South America, bicycling from Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, to La Paz, Bolivia, and with footage from some side trips, including Brazil, Chile’s Easter Island, and Antarctica. Another film by Boehm, “Northern Europe by Bike,” was featured in the 2013 festival.
Also returning this year is Florian Schmale, whose past festival films include “The Cycle Bug” (2013) and “Alive in Southeast Asia” (2014). Schmale just completed three years on the road. This year’s entry, “The Australian Adventure,” chronicles some of the less-than-rosy experiences of a traveling life, such as running out of money, oppressive heat, and dumpster diving for food.
Other highlights include “On the Front Line,” by Dulce da Rocha Gonçalves of Belgium. The 10-minute film follows riders in the 500-kilometer Remembrance Ride through Flanders and northern France, where some of the deadliest World War I battles took place. In “Last Weekend,” former pro bike racer Sarah Uhl and her husband, Carl Zoch, prove that you don’t have to leave home to have an adventure, as they embark on a 36-hour bike, hike, and floating trip in the Colorado mountains. The evening’s finale is “Panamerican Childhood” by Gregor and Lea Speth, which follows the two-year journey of their toddler, Ronja, as the family travels from Alaska to the tip of South America.
The festival, a production of Ciclismo Classico, a community-based Arlington company that has promoted bicycle vacations since 1988, will again benefit MassBike (the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition). There’s a social hour from 6-7 p.m. followed by the screenings.
“Greenway Heroes: Profiles in Land Conservation” is a 10-minute documentary by Pepperell resident Susan Edwards and Westford resident Joy Reo. The filmmakers have made the film available for free viewing at www.greenwayheroes.org in order to promote environmental awareness and land conservation. The film is about three landowners (two in Massachusetts, one in New Hampshire) who donated, sold, or set up conservation easements to protect their family land for the common good along the Nashua River. “Greenway Heroes” is a follow-up to “Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000,” co-directed by Edwards and Dorie Clark. That 30-minute film was about the grass-roots efforts of Groton resident Marion Stoddart who, beginning in 1962, organized a massive citizen effort to clean up the Nashua River, once one of the 10-most-polluted rivers in the country. Stoddart also appears in “Greenway Heroes.”
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