Riders on the Screen
Los Angeles Motorcycle Film Festival,
Review by Ross Anthony, Author of Zen Repair and the Art of Riding Chili

The 2012 fest was held at Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles. The event was outdoors, but under the side roof of the establishment. Parking filled up, even though at least 50% of the vehicles were motorcycles. Still, free parking was abundant on the street.

The host, Scotty One Strike, kept the event light, lively with an apropos biker-edge by riding up to the stage on his cycle. The first video featured him riding through the streets of LA, capturing key landmarks from the rider's perspective. The video, which was nicely edited and used special effects tastefully, made for a very appropriate christening to an event entitled The LA Motorcycle Film Festival.

The festival consisted of sixteen short films ranging in duration from just over 1 minute to just under 14. (The site's entry requirements state: "Maximum 25 minute length, but if it's over 10, it better be spectacular!") Some in the mix were trailers for larger works, a few felt like soft adverts, while the majority were just plain wild, silly, or good fun. That said, all of them exuded a passion/compulsion for motorcycles and the freedom, adventure and thrills they promise. My personal favorites were two very inspiring reels: "Dot Richardson" (a bio short of one of America's first female motorcycle racer) by Toastacia Boyd and "Left Side Story" (in which double amputee Alan Kempster resumes his racing career after being hit by a drunk driver) by Toru Tanida. That said, I also appreciated "Outlaw Emmett Deemus" (Don Quixote on a motorcycle) by Larry Hankin, maybe all the more because I'd just read Don Quixote over the summer. Lastly, I also enjoyed "The Great Ural Adventure" by Ari Henning and Zack Courts, perhaps because I'd just finished reading American Borders by Carla King (in which she test rides a sidecar Ural around the borders of the States.) In addition to the Ural, Ari and Zack pick up an old Honda MB5 and ride it 300 miles across the countryside. I'd once taken a Honda XL125 coast to coast (Zen Repair and the Art of Riding Chili), so that one brought up some fund memories. Which reminds me, "Moto 4" by The Assignment sported some awe-inspiring airborne dirt bike shots.

Sweetly accenting a weather-perfect evening of fun bike movies, Scott and crew raffled off a plethora of goodies including helmets, communication headsets, hot sunglasses, moto-labor, MSF courses, and bike rental vouchers, while periodically rifling t-shirts and caps (uhm, perhaps combined with the verb "rifling" used metaphorically here, I should have said "hats") into the audience.

But even better than all of this good clean fun, Los Angeles Motorcycle Film Festival is a benefit event which raises money for Riders for Health. Riders.org is an organization that assists medical relief efforts in Africa by providing a fleet of worthy cycles (Yami AG200's, I gather), connecting services with those in hard-to-get-at areas. I spent an hour popping around their site which has plenty of cool information, videos (including one narrated by Ewan Mcgregor), and even a chance to ride Africa while you're helping out the world. How cool would that be? Surf that site while your waiting for Los Angeles Motorcycle Film Festival 2013.

All Raffle funds and net proceeds from ticket sales go to Riders for Health. Tickets were $10 each.

UPDATE: (I'd emailed producer Mark Duncan with a few fact checks and he sent the following message to me via phone)

1) Scott "strike 1" Fabbro is a member of the Cretins MC, a great group of guys with chapters around the country dedicated to vintage motorcycling and having fun. Not an outlaw club, just motorcycle nuts who are into vintage motorcycles, motorcycle racing, and all things two wheeled. (Find out more at www.cretins-la.com) Strike 1 is Scott's club nickname. I assume it comes from a long ago incident of 2-wheeled shenanigans. I can neither confirm nor deny. I can confirm he is one of the best people I know, always willing to lend a hand for a good cause. He is also a former club racing champion with 25 years of good natured handlebar banging under his belt, along with being the announcer for several different racing organizations, as well as having written several novels. 

2) The bike he rode up on was my bobber. The motor is from an old Yamaha xs650, the frame, fork and tank are homemade, and the rest is cobbled together from a bunch of old bikes. Super fun bike, rigid rear, springer front. Always puts a smile on your face!

3) That is correct. Tickets paid for all the costs -- printing, equipment, etc (no one who worked on the event got paid, all of us donated our time) and all of what is left over goes to riders for health. 100% of the raffle money went to Riders For Health.  In addition, Tricia Helfer and Katee Sackoff (from TV's Battlestar Galactica, Longmire, The Firm, and others) were kind enough to donate a motorcycle ride to lunch with them that we auctioned off for Riders For Health. Tricia and Katee are two of the nicest,  most down to earth people, and they make motorcycle movies, too! Check them out at www.actingoutlaws.org

My producing partner, Frank Caridi, was instrumental in making  all of this happen. Really, without him there would have been no festival this year. 

We look forward to next year's festival, we're hoping to make it bigger and better than ever and to raise more awareness and funds for Riders For Health. 100% of raffle ticket sales went to riders FOR health.  Hope you can make it!

Thank you,

Mark Duncan

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Friday, 12-Oct-2012 22:21:26 PDT