Q&A: More details on the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival


As we told you last week, there’s a new motorcycle show in town, with the announcement of the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival running this September.

The Festival will run Sept. 29-30 at Toronto’s Revue Cinema.

So, what can attendees expect? Who’d be interested in the show? What kind of films are festival organizers looking for? We reached out to festival director Caius Tenche for more details. Read on!

CMG: What films can we expect to see at the festival? Will there be any familiar titles, or are they all new films (like the Portland festival)?
CT: At each screening, expect to see a good mix of a full length feature film, plus some shorts of varying lengths. The films shown will be current, not your old standbys and include both narratives as well as some documentaries. We are in the process of gathering submissions from filmmakers around the world. To date, we have received over 30 submissions from 11 countries and I’m sure more will come in between now and July when the submission window closes. From these, we will select the best to showcase at the Festival. Each of the screenings will feature different movies, so there will be no repeats.

CMG: Are you hoping to get Canadian submissions for the festival? Do you have any Canadian films lined up yet?
CT: Absolutely. We have received 2 Canadian submissions so far, both of which are very good. We’d love to get more and showcase our Canadian talent and landscape. Canadian filmmakers, please send us your submissions!

CMG: What sort of films are you looking for? Obviously, submissions have to be more than just a collection of GoPro clips from a ride to the Dempster Highway. What production level do you need?
CT: Firstly, the films have to be about motorcycles or motorcycle culture. More importantly, we are looking for films that tell a story and engages the viewer in some way. Having footage shot with the latest and greatest camera, with amazing audio and some drone footage thrown in is great, but if that’s all it is, it will wear thin quickly. The film must have a good story and believable characters. Story trumps all.

CMG: Why start a festival like this in the first place? And why do you think it’s taken so long for one to get started in Canada?
CT: I’m a fairly new motorcyclist, with only 4 years under my belt, but the passion for it hit me hard. When I wasn’t riding, I was consuming as much online content as I could find. I came across the Stories of Bike series and that put me over the top as it combined my love for motorcycles with great storytelling. I then also found out about the motorcycle film festivals in Portland and New York but unfortunately could not make my way out to them. I imagined how amazing it must be to see the movies on a big screen surrounded by other individuals that shared the same passions. Even now as I write this, I feel energized just thinking about it. In short, I started the Festival for the selfish reason that I wanted to have that experience and share it with others. I truly cannot wait for the Festival and bring our moto community together. It’s going to be amazing.

CMG: Will this festival appeal to the average film enthusiast, or is it really aimed more specifically at motorcyclists?
CT: Good stories transcend the genre so I do believe the films will be appealing to the average film enthusiast. With that said, I think motorcyclists will have a more natural affinity to the content as they can directly relate.

CMG: Why the September date? Will this be a sort of close to the Ontario riding season? Why not consider a mid-winter date, when there’s precious little riding to be had?
CT: The September date was chosen for a couple of reasons. We wanted to have enough time to secure great films and enough time to plan and execute the best event we can possibly put on. We wanted the Festival to be more than just showing up at the theatre, sitting down and watching films. We wanted to put on a “capital E Event” of high caliber and quality; something that will make the attendees walk away from and think, “Wow. That was awesome!” And although you don’t have to, riding to the Festival on your bike just seemed like the right thing to do, which is why a mid-winter date was not chosen.

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