International Cycling Film Festival

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International Cycling Film Festival
International Cycling Film Festival Logo from 2013.jpg
Location Herne, Germany and Kraków, Poland
Founded 2005 as International Cycling Video Festival
-2009 renamed International Cycling Film Festival
Awards Goldene Kurbel and Audience Awards
Hosted by Team Hollandse Frietjes - non-professional cycling, Bochum, Germany, and Śląska Inicjatywa Rowerowa, Częstochowa, Poland
Number of films 16 films from 10 countries in Herne 2014
Festival date Kraków: September 20, 2014. Herne: October 10 and 11, 2014
On stage interview with movie makers at the 7th ICFF 2012
2012 Official festival poster

The International Cycling Film Festival (Polish: Międzynarodowy Festiwal Filmów Rowerowych, German: Internationales Festival des Fahrrad-Films) is a not-for-profit film festival held annually in the Ruhr Area, Germany, and in the Silesian Voivodeship in Poland. Its mission is to strengthen international cooperation in the areas of cycling, cycling films and bicycle culture. The festival promotes interaction between movie makers and cyclists from all over the world. It has screened more than 150 short movies from more than 30 countries since its debut in 2006. Each year around 20 films compete for the award Goldene Kurbel and the awards of the audience. The Neistat Brothers, Michaël Dudok de Wit, Lucas Brunelle and other filmmakers contributed to the ICFF. It is managed by the cycling club "Team Hollandse Frietjes - non-professional cycling".

The last International Cycling Film Festival 2014 screened 16 bike films from eleven countries. Approximately 300 participants attended the festival in Germany, around 100 participated in the Polish edition of the ICFF.[1][2] The 10th ICFF is scheduled for September 2015 in Kraków and end of October 2015 in Herne.


2006: The ICFF's launch in its former venue, the Club Goldkante in Bochum

Early years[edit]

The International Cycling Film Festival was founded in December 2005 in Bochum by the chairman of the local cycling club Team Hollandse Frietjes – non-professional cycling, Gernot Mühge. The festival launched in September 2006 under the name "International Cycling Video Festival" (German: Internationales Festival des Radsport-Videos). Featured were 17 films from the USA, Scotland, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The first three festivals took place at “Goldkante”, a club for the local art scene and social-cultural events in Bochum. During these years the festival was arranged as a three-days festival, containing two film evenings at the first two days and ending with a time trial for both cyclists and movie makers at the third day. The laudatory for the Goldene Kurbel in these years was Frank Hörner, director of the Theater Kohlenpott, which is a children and youth theatre in the Flottmann-Hallen, Herne. He facilitated the transfer of the ICFF from Bochum to nearby Herne.

Flottmann-Hallen years[edit]

The Flottmann-Hallen is the venue of the ICFF since 2009
Flottmann-Hallen, exterior view

Since a continuous growth in terms of both the number of participants and the quality and quantity of film contributions[3] the festival was renamed "International Cycling Film Festival” 2009. Also the festival's venue “Goldkante” became too small for the audience over the years. Based on the existing cooperation to the Theater Kohlenpott the makers of the festival decided to move the 4th International Cycling Film Festival to Herne 2009. From then until now the festival takes place at the Flottmann-Hallen, a former machine-tool factory, which was transformed into a cultural centre for Herne following its closure in 1983. During the years 2010 to 2012 the ICFF was included in the “VVicycle- Herne Film and Bicycle Days”, an organizational umbrella for different film festivals taking place in the Flottmann-Hallen.[4][5][6]

“The fantastic bicycle film" (German: Der fantastische Fahrradfilm) was the particular motto of the 6th International Cycling Film Festival. The motto was repeated as "The fantastic bicycle film reloaded" during the 8th ICFF 2013. These two specific programs included anime, animation and auteur films from Argentina, Austria, Greece, Germany, Japan, Italy, Poland and Portugal.

A Polish-German festival since 2012[edit]

2013 Official festival poster, Polish version

In Summer 2011, during a meeting on future cooperation among bicycle activists in the Ruhr district held in the bike kitchen in Dortmund, Aleksander Kopia, founder of the Silesian Bicycle Initiative (Polish: Śląska Inicjatywa Rowerowa), Poland met people from the ICFF. From that point the Polish initiative is a partner of the Team Hollandse Frietjes and the ICFF. First guest performances in Poland occurred in Katowice and in Częstochowa[7] in summer 2012. This gave rise to the idea of setting up a second ICFF in Poland based on equal partnership between the Polish and German makers of the ICFF. So 2013 the program of the festival was shown simultaneously in Herne and Częstochowa. Furthermore, a new prize for bicycle-related films was created. The award was named Trzy złote szprychy (English: Three Golden Spokes) and is the audience award of the festival’s Polish edition. In 2014, the Polish edition of the ICFF moved from Częstochowa to Kraków. In that year the ICFF is under the patronage of the German Consulate General in Kraków.

Award Goldene Kurbel[edit]

Goldene Kurbel 2013

The Goldene Kurbel (English: Golden Crank) is the highest price awarded to the best film in the festival, counting as The Oscar for bicycle films.[8] It is the oldest film prize for bicycle-related films.[9] The award is chosen by a jury of local film, bicycle and art experts who are also in charge for the official selection of the festival program. The Goldene Kurbel consists of a golden right-side crank arm of a bicycle on the top of a wooden base. The crank stands as a symbol for the bicycle and refers also to the crank of early hand-cranked film cameras.


2010 Official festival poster

2014 the Goldene Kurbel was given to The Bell from Pijus Mickus, Lithuania. The Bell is a film about a girl’s dream of a cycle of her own, fulfilled by her loving parents. Since the bell does not ring the young owner starts her first ride to let the bell repaired. But the bike ride through the Lithuanian landscape appears difficult; the bicycle falls apart into pieces. Pijus Mickus' short shows powerfully expressive performance dance, with Indrė Pivoraitė and her bicycle as a congenial dance partner in the leading roles.

The prize for the best film 2013 was given to Three-Legged Horses from Felipe Bustos Sierra, Edinburgh, Scotland.[10] His short shows an evening in the live of a professional cycle rickshaw driver, the friendly contacts with passersby, street musicians, colleagues, but also by the demanding fight against gravity, physical pain and nasty passengers. Referring to this contrast the film ends in a big brass party including the whole nightlife of Edinburgh. Three-Legged Horses shows the bright and dark site of professional bicycle driving, the fascination of free urban life, the solidarity among a modern precariat on the one hand, and on the other hand the vulnerability and toughness of this particular work life.[11] The film won both Goldene Kurbel and audience award of the 8th ICFF.

Father and Daughter, a Dutch animation from Michaël Dudok de Wit was the Goldene Kurbel awardee in 2012. The metaphorical and touching film tells the story of a young girl, beginning with the goodbye of her father who leaves in a small boat. Over and over the girl took the bike to come back to the point where he left. This scene recurs for several stages of her life, i.e. as young woman cycling with her girlfriends, with her husband and children, as an elder woman, yet within her there is always a deep longing for her father. The compelling film won the audience award of the ICFF 2012, too.

The film prize 2011 was awarded to the American short Cycle of love by Catherine Marshall. It is the first contribution for the ICFF, within which bicycles play all parts in the film. The festival jury was positive about the amazing expressivity of Catherine Marshall's playing act bicycles, which was needed for the tragicomical love story of her film.

2010 the Goldene Kurbel was given to the Romanian artist Alexei Gubenco and his movie Vive La Crise!. The animation takes the economic and financial crisis as a starting point: "The short shows in an optimistic and satirical way the benefits of the cycle for both individuals and society, referring to the (as it were) anti-consumerism character of cycling", so the 2010th jury's comment.[12]

The winner in 2009 was the German movie maker Jörn Staeger. His film Rad (English title: Wheel) is a short about a bizarre cycling trip under time pressure and against bicycle-specific obstacles: men, dogs, bike chains.

The 2008 prize winner was the movie maker Mike Tereba from Luxembourg for his contribution Psyclist, an internationally highly successful movie. Psyclist is a gloomy feature film dedicated to a cyclist who was killed in a bicycle accident.

Winners of the Goldene Kurbel in previous years were the German movie maker Sören Büngener for his film A Look in the Mirror in 2007; a year earlier, in 2006, the Goldene Kurbel was awarded to the Austrian/German artists Sylvia Winkler und Stephan Köperl and their film doored in downtown.

Goldene Kurbel 2nd 3rd
Year Movie maker Film title Movie maker Film title Movie maker Film title
2006 Austria Germany Sylvia Winkler, Stephan Köperl doored in downtown Germany Sören Büngener Big Bang in Bayern United Kingdom Chas Nairn accomplish
2007 Germany Sören Büngener A Look in the Mirror Germany Holger Zepper Vene voll? Austria Thomas Ploder Nach oben, wohin sonst?
2008 Luxembourg Mike Tereba Psyclist Italy Antonio Poce Coppi, un uomo solo Germany Ingo Fucking Karma Riders
2009 Germany Jörn Staeger Rad United Kingdom Adrian McDowell, Finlay Pretsell Standing Start United Kingdom Alistair Oldham Bristol Bike Project
2010 Romania Alexei Gubenco Vive La Crise! Austria Germany David Paede, Barbara Sas Bikekitchen - a filmic approach Belgium GRACQ Duel dans le sul
2011 United States Catherine Marshall Cycle of love Portugal José Pedro Lopes O Risco Italy Lorenzo Veracini, Nandini Nambiar, Marco Avoletta A bicycle trip
2012 Netherlands Michaël Dudok de Wit Father and Daughter United States Marie Ullrich Faster! Canada The Deadly Nightshades Fabric Bike
2013 United Kingdom Felipe Bustos Sierra Three-Legged Horses Greece Zina Papadopoulou, Petros Papadopoulos Eight-Minute Deadline Germany Mathias Eberle Eingang-Klapprad-Style
2014 Lithuania Pijus Mickus The Bell Germany Michael Klöfkon ich fahre mit dem fahrrad in einer halben stunde an den rand der atmosphäre Israel Amir Porat, Mor Israeli Cycle

Guest performances[edit]

The first guest performance of the ICFF took place in the German Museum for Sport and Olympics (German: Deutsches Sport & Olympia Museum), Cologne, in 2011. Since this time regularly guest performances of the ICFF take place in the Centennial Hall (German: Jahrhunderthalle Bochum) during the festival “Bicycle Summer of Industrial Culture”, and in the cultural center Langer August in Dortmund in cooperation with the local Critical Mass. Guest performances of the ICFF normally contain a selection of films from recent years.

Special awards[edit]

  • Trzy złote szprychy - Award of the audience in Kraków and Award of the audience in Herne 2014: Lea und Gregor Speth, Panamerican Childhood
  • Award of the audience in Herne 2013: Felipe Bustos Sierra, Three-Legged Horses
  • Trzy złote szprychy - Award of the audience in Częstochowa 2013: Konrad Lewandowski, Michał Kluska
  • Audience award 2012: Michaël Dudok de Wit, Father and Daughter
  • Audience award 2011: Beatrix Wupperman, Richard Grassick, Germany, UK: Beauty and the bike; Tom Malecha, Switzerland,Ten Things I Have Learned About Mountainbiking
  • Audience award 2010: Timo Liedtke, Fiete Isfort, Germany: Robot
  • Audience award 2009: Jörn Staeger Germany, Rad
  • Award The bicycle in a supporting role, 2009: Richard Westermaier, Germany, Wildbachtoni: - Geschichte lebt
  • Audience award 2007: Sören Büngener, Germany: A Look in the Mirror
  • Audience award 2006: Andre Grunert, Peter Ittermann, Alles bon

Souvenir Stefan Götz[edit]

Goldsprint "Souvenir Stefan Götz" at the ICFF

The sporting competition "Souvenir Stefan Götz" marks the end of each German edition of the International Cycling Film Festival. It is named after the first sponsor of the Team Hollandse Frietjes. It also refers to the Tour de France and its Souvenir Henri Desgrange.

In the first few years of the festival the Souvenir Stefan Götz took the form of an individual and team time trial over about 20 km, which was open to both audience and movie makers. 2009 the Souvenir Stefan Götz was a match sprint over about 800 metres, 2011 it was an Urban Cycle Polo match, from 2012 onwards a Goldsprint.

Winners of the Souvenir Stefan Götz[edit]

2014: Axel Rickel, Bicycle salesman, Dortmund

2013: Pierre Cournoyer, Performing Artist at Roomservice, Herne

2012: Unknown participant of the festival

2011: Bike Polo Team "Champagneros", Duisburg, Germany

2009: Gernot Mühge, founding director of the ICFF

2008: Thomas Wisiolek, amateur cyclist

2007: Rolf Trovato, amateur cyclist

2006: Holger Zepper, movie maker

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daniele Giustolisi (27 October 2013). "Herner Fahrrad-FIlm-Festival wächst weiter". Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Festival des Fahrrad-Films: Und die "Goldene Kurbel" geht an...". 9 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Fechner, Carola: Wir lagen am Boden. In: Tour-Magazin, Vol. 1/2008
  4. ^ Neumann, Henrik: Bei Video-Festivals in Herne dreht sich alles ums Rad, in: Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, October 5, 2009
  5. ^ Pardey, Hans-Heinrich: Fahrradkultur mit Fritten, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, October 31, 2010
  6. ^ ICFF official press release (10 October 2011). "Goldene Kurbel geht in die USA" (in German). Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Rowery eleganckie i filmowe. Baw się na paradzie i pikniku". 20 September 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Klapprad-Kurzfilm für Festival-Preis nominiert". 24 October 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Ranally, Kyle (6 October 2011). "Graduate student's film to compete in International Cycling Film Festival". Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Reidl, Andrea (18 November 2013). "Kurzfilmer gesucht, in: Zeit Online". Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Mühge, Gernot (29 October 2013). "Festival des Fahrrad-Films: "Goldene Kurbel" für drei Beine". Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  12. ^ ICFF official press release (26 October 2010). "Goldene Kurbel geht nach Rumänien" (in German). Retrieved 2 November 2010. 

External links[edit]