Yesterday night, I went to the Cycle Chic Film Tour in Melbourne. This one-night festival goes accross New Zealand and Australia to screen eleven short films about female bike riders.
Honestly, I went because I realise that I have to write an article about a film festival in Melbourne. I had the choice between the Korean Film Festival and the Cycle Chic Film Tour. I choose the latest because I’m interesting in topics regarding women and adventurous women who stretch their limits. But also because, thanks to the three other interviews I have made, I realise that everybody has very different ideas on niche festivals and I wanted to go into this topic in depth.
Brett Cotter is the Curator of the festival but he’s actually doing more than just being a Curator. He’s the Programmer, the Marketing Manager and even the Operation Manager. He prefers to refer to himself as the pedlar of the festival.
He doesn’t have any film pedigree, he’s just keen on bikes. He knows a lot about it and his passion allows him to know what is relevant to screen.
Bikes events in Taupo, in New Zealand where he comes from, gave him the idea of creating a festival to celebrate cycling: the Big Bike Film Night.
Then, with proven success, he has decided to celebrate and encourage women to bike.
It took him three years to find all the material he needed. He has to be patient but as he said, the most important thing is “to keep the integrity of the collection, to be honest and to be present during the screening”.
Brett wants to show stories with real people, stories of passion, challenges and adversity. Stories on which we can rely on.
For him, niche festivals are about passion. “If you are not on your bike, you can watch bike films and add things to your bucket list”.
Even if he doesn’t have a big network here in Australia, he can rely on his sponsors such as Bicycling Network. Promotion materials from sponsors have been quickly screened at the beginning of the event and the founder of Wheel Women also gave a speech (a bit too long for me) for the Women Health Week.
If Brett just happens to become a curator, he feels very privileged to do so and he finds his work very rewarding.
The Big Cycle Chic Tour is a small festival. Hosted in the theatrette of the Victorian Library, the room wasn’t completly full of people.
However, the festival succeeds to gather a real community of passionate people.
I had a very good time. Brett Cotter has screened very different and inspiring stories. All of them were about passion, courage and the ability of stand out against what you may think your life should be to discover yourself and creating new paths.
I have procrastinated on buying a bike since July but it looks like I’m about to have a new one this week-end.