Bicycle Film Festival, next stop-Philadelphia

The bicycle film festival moves on to its next city:
Philadelphia June 26-27th.

I did a Q and A with Joe Stakun who is running the BFF in Philly. Joe is also one of the film makers who made a documentary about an upstate NY BMX company success story: FBM.

The name of the film is: “I Love My Bicycle: the story of FBM.”

here is a trailer:

I Love My Bicycle: The Story of FBM Bikes Trailer from BAD BREAKS on Vimeo.

Here is the Q and A:

Name, Age, Where you live (bike)

My name is Joe Stakun. I am 23 and live in Philadelphia.

What bikes do you own?

I ride a brown FBM Howler.
For my commuter bike I ride my dad’s 1982 Lotus Touring bike.

What will be your next bike purchase?

When it comes to BMX stuff I’d like to get an FBM Exodus. I’d also eventually like to get an FBM Sword frame and run a cassette on it.

What got you into biking?

When I was 5 or 6 I had a tree ride in my yard with a great transition. I didn’t know what freestyle was then but I started riding at it really fast and seeing how far up I could get. I’d always land on my back but it was pretty fun. I didn’t actually fully get into riding freestyle till I was about 14 unfortunately.

What lead to your making the Documentary “I love my Bicycle.”

I’ve been really into making music videos and documentaries as a filmmaker. I always wanted to make something awesome for bmx that people outside of the culture could appreciate and relate too. I met Steve Crandal randomly at Camp Woodward one winter weekend and we got to talking about video stuff. He mentioned that someone had said it’d be cool if someone made a documentary on FBM. And I instantly said, “I’ll do it.” That was about 2 and a half years ago.

What did you learn along the way about FBM that surprised you the most in making the film?

I learned everything about FBM. I had seen all of their videos growing up as a kid but outside of that it was all new to me. Every time I met up to shoot or visit I was learning more about their history and all the aspects of what they do. I think a lot of people make assumptions about FBM based on their videos and hopefully after seeing the documentary they’ll get a glimpse of where they are and how they got there.

What did you learn about bicycles from making a bicycle movie? Anything learned about shooting BMX?

I learned quite a bit about how the industry works. The film has interviews with many of the influential BMX company owners from all over the US. So I got an idea on how not just FBM, but companies like Terrible One, S&M, Fit, Hoffman, Mirra Co, and United operate. I have a lot of respect for anybody who works in BMX.

What are you goals for the film?

My biggest goal would be that it could be a film that kids who ride bikes can take pride in and something that anyone outside of the culture can really respect and relate to.

How did you get involved with the BFF Philly? Have they had a festival before?

This is the first year the Bicycle Film Festival will be in Philadelphia June 26th and 27th. My film was accepted into many of the BFF cities. I called BFF up one day to see if they were doing Philadelphia this year. Turns out they were and needed help getting stuff together so I offered to help.

Whats planned for the festival?

The first night will be an opening reception at 6pm at Moore College of Art and design. It will also be the Opening of Ryan Humphrey’s piece “Fast Forward.” Which is a sight to see. “Fast Forward” involves ramps that are set up in the gallery, and during the reception dudes will be riding them.
Following the Reception is the Philadelphia Premier of I Love My Bicycle starting at 8pm.
June 27th there will be films starting at 2 along a street party 2-6 with Music, bunny hop contest, mixed class foot down, and Pedal Coop is holding a hauling contest. Awesome Dudes Printing and Brutaltron will be holding an alley Cat of sorts.

After parties both nights.


Who is expected to show up?

Hopefully a bunch of awesome people. The event is being sponsored by 2×4 Bike shop, Awesome Dudes Printing, and Pedal Co-op. I know Ryan Humphrey will be there, 80’s BMX legend Dizz Hicks, and some local Philly Pros will be there.

What is the biking scene like in Philly? the BMX scene?

There’s a pretty big bike scene in Philadelphia. The city is really just the easiest city to get around on a bike. There’s really no reason to drive a car to work in Philadelphia. BMX in Philadelphia is pretty great. Great Street Riding and FDR park. There are a lot of amazing bike riders from the area.

Do you think the BFF will inspire more people to ride bikes?

I hope so.

How is Philadelphia as a city for biking? What most needs to improve?

Again there’s no reason for folks to drive to work in that city. It’s real easy to ride through. Just have to keep your eye out for Taxi’s and never expect anyone to ever use their blinkers.

What do you think of the rise in freestyle fixed gear riding? Does it contrast or compliment BMX? Will it last?

I’m not to sure what it says about BMX. I’m not really in that scene. I suppose it’s true that there are different bikes for different styles of riding. At the same time, it is what you make it. I do know doing tricks on bikes is fun. And if that’s the bike you ride then have fun with it.
What are your future film making goals?

I’d love to just make work that people really enjoy. I have some new ideas for future films, music videos, and video art installations that I am excited to start on. As for now though I’m fully focused on looking for a distributor or going solo in packaging and distributing I Love My Bicycle out there and available before the end of the year.

What are your future cycling goals?

I’d like to put out a video part in the next year or so when it comes to freestyle. I also wouldn’t mind embarking on a long distance cycle ride.

Anything you wished I’d asked you?

I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who is pumped on my new film. I’m super grateful that not only the BMX community but also the biking community in general has been getting behind the film and are excited about it. Thanks to everyone who was involved and contributed to make the film what it is.
Thanks a lot Joe. Should be a great time in the city of Brotherly Love.
I also came across this article in the local Philly, “City Paper” form a few weeks back. I thought it was a good insight into the local bicycle goings on and its got a picture of naked people on bikes.

How to make Philly a cyclist’s paradise.
by Isaiah Thompson
cover-1(image by: Neal Santos
Cyclists: Alex Schuetz and Christina Carbone)

Yeah, we know. You — that is, some of you out there —hate bikes. More specifically, you hate bikers. All of them. You don’t discriminate.

We know, because you announce it, over and over, like a vendor hawking fruit from a truck. It happens pretty much any time any of us at City Paper write something about bicycles. The comments are always the same: “Bikers have no respect,” “bikers break the law,” “bikers deserve to suffer bloody, horrible deaths at the front end of my car, which I love.”

So let’s get this over with, bike-hater. Are some bicyclists assholes? Absolutely. Some are nice little old ladies, too; some are businesspeople, some are blue-collar workers, and some are hot chicks/dudes whom you may not want to curse out just yet.

We could spend the next few thousand words arguing about the voluminous ways that you, driver, hate bikes.

The thing is, that conversation is old. And boring. And, increasingly, irrelevant.

Because right now, more Philadelphians are biking than at any time in recent memory, possibly ever. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the number of riders here has doubled in just three years. You can gripe, but biking is here to stay.

Maybe you should give it a shot?

Complete article here.

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