Filmmaker Spotlight: The Bikes of Wrath

“I think that right now, given recent events in the USA, our documentary is particularly important because it shows the incredible generosity and kindness of everyday Americans. There are a lot of elements to the film – cycling, adventure, music, literature – but I think it is ultimately about the goodness of ordinary people,” says Australian filmmaker Charlie Turnbull

Charlie says the concept for his film The Bikes of Wrath slowly evolved over a three year period. “My good friend Leon Morton and I really love the novel The Grapes of Wrath and decided one evening that it would be an adventure to retrace the route the Joad family took from Oklahoma to California in the late 1930s. For some reason we decided that it would be fun to do so on bikes. From there we invited Cam Ford, a Melbourne-based filmmaker, and he suggested we film the whole thing. At that stage we got a crew together and developed the idea a little further to include the limitations on money and the street performing.”

About the Project

The team rode 50 miles a day, bikes weighed down by cameras, instruments and solar panels, and most of them rather unfamiliar with bike travel. To make this entire concept even more authentic to the original story, the team challenged themselves to survive off a total budget of $420 – the modern day equivalent of the meagre $18 the Joad family had when they set out. They then decided to busk along the way for additional funds – though most of the guys had never before played an instrument.

A Rewarding Journey

“Heat, exhaustion and hunger all made the trip fairly difficult at times, but it was the combination of these things and then finding the energy to film the adventure that was probably the most challenging component.” Charlie says. “I think the most rewarding part of the whole project has been to see what started as a far-fetched idea evolve into what I believe is an engaging and important documentary.”

Crowdfunding the Film

A trailer for the film is now out – which we’ll be showcasing in the festival – and the group has crowd funded to launch the full production. Charlie says they are thankful for the support they’ve been able to gather so far. The trailer alone is an excellent piece, and we can’t wait to see the full film.

Meet Charlie in Portland!

Charlie will be in Portland for this year’s festival and will be joining us on the Filmmaker Ride and various functions throughout the weekend.

“Bikes of Wrath” plays Saturday, May 6, in our 8:00pm Adventure Night program.

Filmmaker Spotlight: Joey Schusler

joey schusler

Joey Schusler is an adventurer extraordinaire who also creates gorgeous films about his journeys. In his early 20’s he realized his bike could be more than simply a thrill-seeking tool for racing the clock, it could also be a tool for adventure and getting an personal view of the world.

Continue reading

Filmmaker Spotlight: Devansh Mathur

Gotya | Devansh Mathur

“Gotya” is an intriguing bike-themed film set in India. We spent some time talking with filmmaker Devansh Mathur about the making of this complex piece.

Continue reading

Filmmaker Spotlight: Dwayne Burgess

Catskills Dwayne

Dwayne Burgess says it was Ron Fricke’s “Koyaanisqatsi” that really paved the way for him as a filmmaker. “My first film was born out of the pure desire to challenge myself to create moving image with a digital camera, push every aspect of my knowledge and technical artistry using time lapse photography.” Continue reading

Filmmaker Spotlight: Ryan Van Duzer


Ryan Van Duzer describes himself as a tree-hugging hipping boy from Boulder who has never owned a car.
Continue reading

Filmmaker Spotlight: Damian Ineichen


Damian Ineichen says he loves to capture adventures with friends, and for him film is the best way to do that.
Continue reading

Filmmaker Spotlight: Alastair Humphreys

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 12.42.44 PM

Alastair Humphreys was once named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and is a sought after inspirational speaker and a best-selling author. His expeditions are a call to arms: “Nothing,” he proclaims, “is achieved without someone being bold enough to begin it and taking that first step” – which needs only be a tiny one to “set us on the way to realizing that we are all capable of more than we imagine.”
Continue reading

Filmmaker Spotlight: Manny Marquez

IngerUcker: Beyond Fingerdome Manny Marquez | Hood River, OR

IngerUcker: Beyond Fingerdome Manny Marquez | Hood River, OR

Manny Marquez says he got into cycling through film – not a typical route for most people. In 2009, About Face Media sent Manny to France for The Tour De France. His job was to create a film a day for Trek Bicycles. During his time at the Tour, Manny made 22 films base on Team Astana and the love of cycling throughout France. “I was going to all of these places that are famous,” Manny explain. “Now I watch cycling religiously and I know these places, but I didn’t then.”
Continue reading


Brian MatheBrian Mathe, Morgan Monchaud, Vera Siphay and Bertrand Dolci have always been adventurous.  The French travel enthusiasts have long been into activities like snowboarding, surfing and windsurfing but it was a wild idea by Morgan that put the wheels of a grand journey into motion: travel around the world… by bike!  Luckily for us, they filmed it, too.
Continue reading