Fairfield Bike Shorts: Australian community-made films which get locals thinking about cycling

Fairfield Bike Shorts is an innovative, independent Australian film making project promoting cycling and bicycle infrastructure in the Fairfield City Council area through storytelling and film. The films produced will premiere on Saturday 12 October at the Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Fairfield NSW in a free, family-friendly event. This project is run through the Western Sydney Cycling Network and supported by the Fairfield City Council, the Powerhouse Youth Theatre, and The Spokes People. Fairfield Bike Shorts

Locals have been gathering in Fairfield every week over the last two months, in the Fairfield Bike Shorts intensive film making workshops, to create four different short films that heavily feature themes around cycling. These four short films, each under 10 minutes in length, consist of two fictional narratives, a documentary and an animation. They feature humour, drama, mystery and heart-felt stories to catalyse conversation and contemplation about cycling to reach out to people who may have cycled in the past and no longer cycle today.

Fairfield City Council has about 100km of cycleways stretching north/south and east/west across the municipality, the majority of which are off-road shared path facilitates and has an active social cycling group which conducts regularly weekly and monthly rides.

“Fairfield City Council has invested a lot of money into safe cycling infrastructure over the last five years and we’re steadily seeing an increase in people using these facilities but there is a lot of capacity for increased use to help alleviate some of the congestion, health and social isolation problems prevalent in the area”, says Phuong Le, Producer of Fairfield Bike Shorts.

“With Fairfield Bike Shorts we wanted to reconnect people with the joy of cycling through an accessible and readily available medium – film – while making it fun and supporting local emerging talent. And ultimately, we're keen to see other municipalities take up the idea of engaging the community in creative ways to promote cycling, environmental issues and a stronger connection to place and the community”, she adds.

Over 40 people have been engaged in the film-making process ranging from youth who were interested in film making to older members of the community who wanted to share their stories and memories of cycling in the local area. The film-making process has also been documented and recorded and is being turned into a behind-the-scenes documentary.

“Getting people talking about and thinking about cycling is the first step to actually getting people on bicycles. There is so much potential out here in south-western Sydney and through Fairfield Bike Shorts we want to show the rest of Sydney and Australia how they too can encourage people in their municipalities to take up cycling through the medium of storytelling and film.

"We're still looking for help with the project for our fundraising campaign. We've got some great rewards for supporters so visit pozible.com/fairfieldbikeshorts for more information. Rewards range from viewing the films at an online screening event to VIP seating for the screening of the films to a half-day culinary tour of Fairfield" says Le.

The films will premiere at the Powerhouse Youth Theatre in Harris Street, Fairfield on Saturday 12 October 2013. This will coincide with the annual Sydney Rides Festival launching the following day in the Sydney CBD.

Tickets for the Fairfield Bike Shorts Premiere Screening are free and limited, so advance bookings are essential. There will be a short social bicycle tour of Fairfield at 2:30pm prior to the Premiere Screening event which commences at 4pm.



WHEN: Saturday 12 October 2014
2:30pm start for leisurely bicycle tour of Fairfield
4:00pm start for Fairfield Bike Shorts Premiere Film Screening launch

WHERE: Powerhouse Youth Theatre
Fairfield School of Arts, 19 Harris Street, Fairfield NSW

COST: Free. Bookings essential. Bookings open Wednesday 25 September.

WEBSITE: www.fairfieldbikeshorts.wordpress.com

TICKET RESERVATIONS: fbs.eventbrite.com.au



The Gypsy Spokers:
A fight over candy leads to a turf war between the Gypsy Spokers and the Razors. How will they settle this war and who will win?

Wheels of Justice: SBU (Special Bikes Unit):
A girl’s bicycle is stolen and mysteriously reappears in her basement, tyres slashed and bicycle broken. Who did this and why? Follow Detectives Roy and Johnson as they uncover the truth and bring about justice.

Cycling around Fairfield Documentary:
We take a look at around Fairfield and hear stories and memories of different groups of people who cycle around the Fairfield City region, ranging from an older couple actively involved with the Western Sydney Cycling Network to a group of youths who leisurely cycle around Fairfield for fun and fitness.

Bicycle Animation:
A bicycle yearns for attention and love from its owner who is now too busy to take it out on rides and looks for companionship and freedom within a world dominated by cars.

Behind-the-Scenes Documentary:
We take a quick look at this documentary in-the-making starting with the Fairfield Bike Shorts workshops including interviews with some of the project organisers and participants. This documentary will continue to be added upon with the Premier Screening featuring within the documentary.