A different spin: The Bicycle Film Festival

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The Independent Culture

The Bicycle Film Festival came from unlikely beginnings. It was founded by New Yorker Brendt Barbur after he was hit by a bus while cycling in the city. He was intent on creating a positive outcome from the incident. Hot on the heels of the burgeoning urban bike movement, the event today is a global one, taking place in 25 cities each year and embracing art and music alongside film.

One film receiving its premiere at this year's festival, held at the Barbican, is Racing Towards Red Hook, a documentary about the cult sporting event the Red Hook Criterium. The competition sees cyclists compete on a demanding course through the industrial area of Red Hook, Brooklyn. To add to the challenge the race is done on fixed-gear bikes and takes place at night.

"It's very intense," says film-maker Jessica Scott on the race. "It's very dark, the course is very hairy. People are riding these bikes that don't have brakes... there were some crashes."

The Bicycle Film Festival, Barbican, London EC2 (020 7638 8891) to Sunday. 'Racing Towards Red Hook' screens today at 9.15pm ( www.bicyclefilmfestival.com)