The Swedish filmmaker Frederik Gertten who presented his new documentary Bikes vs Cars at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, turned the world premiere of his film into a green event. Hundreds of people were riding on bikes to the special outdoor screening which took place in a public park. In Bikes vs Cars Frederik Gertten, the director of BANANAS! and Big Boys Gone Bananas!, investigates the daily global drama in traffic around the world.
"I was born in Malmö, Sweden, a city where the bike is the natural choice for going from one place to another”, states Frederik Gertten. “I’ve traveled the world wondering why there is so little space for bikes, why it’s so dangerous when it’s so much more fun to explore a city by bike. The car model as we know it has reached an extreme level with constant gridlock and millions of productive hours lost. The frustration is growing and cities need to look into new models. “
The urban biking movement is growing. Beginning just for the passion, the freedom on the bike, it has evolved into a political movement asking for better city-planning, safe and separate bike lanes. While the climate change becomes a growning challenge, the automobile industry is selling more cars than ever. The total number of a billion cars nowadays will even double in 2020. “We also suffer from the anxiety of climate change, but we are at least doing something about it”, stresses the director. “In Copenhagen and Amsterdam forty percent commute within the city on bikes. Try to adopt that number to other huge cities in the world and you have an existing utopia.”
This sustainable approach worked well at the world premiere of Bikes vs. Cars. "The outdoor screening was totally pedal driven by bikes", reports Mikael Svensson from the Oresund Film Commission in Sweden. At the SXSW film festival, he took a 15 km bike ride through Austin to get to this packed spectacular screening.
"First, the inflatable screen was blown up by people who sat on bikes and then the whole film was driven by pedaling people. No electricity was used. It was an incredible experience."
Produced by WG Film in Malmö, Sweden, Bikes vs. Cars was financed by a Kickstarter campaign. After the world premiere in Austin, Frederik Gerrten is touring with Bikes vs. Cars through Mexico where Ambulante will screen the documentary in various venues.