Posted On 09 Apr 2024
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This entry is part 42 of 26 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#27


Bright is calling! If you’re a traveller with an iota of adventure running through your veins, you need to block off the calendar every February and make your way to the gorgeous town of Bright, Victoria for the Adventure Travel Film Festival.

Three days of incredible films and inspirational speakers leaves a person twitching with desire to liquidise the kid’s inheritance and hit the road/mountains/rivers by whatever means possible.

From the Himalayas to the depths of Africa, outback Australia and the Dakar race in Argentina – by bicycle, canoe, moto or foot; the movies will have you on the edge of your seat. You can taste the dust; sense the numbing cold; suffer the dehydration; and feel the pain. Then you can go have a beer. Seriously, every challenge undertaken and shared with us mere mortals just serves to inspire us to new heights of exploration and adventure.

The calibre of the movies and speakers this year was once again remarkable.

Rupert Shaw, the festival’s organiser, is guided by the legendary Austin Vince who runs the show in the UK, but this year’s festival included a good range of Aussie films like Dreamracer, Continental Drift, The Ride and Njinga.

It is always a bonus when the “star” of the film is in attendance making the Q&A sessions afterwards into exciting events in themselves. Kate Leeming (Njinga) and Christophe Barriere-Varju (Dreamracer) were there in person “EVERY CHALLENGE… SHARED WITH US MERE MORTALS JUST SERVES TO INSPIRE US TO NEW HEIGHTS OF EXPLORATION AND ADVENTURE” giving excellent presentations alongside veteran speakers like Ron Fellowes and Brian Rix and Shirley Hardy-Rix.

The Ride was one of the highlights.

A story about four men who were critically injured in separate motorcycle accidents, subsequently becoming para or quadriplegic, who take to the outback roads on quad bikes to revisit their crash sites and the emotional impact of their life altering events. It is a raw and nerve wracking look at what all riders fear but dare not mention; the possibility that one day we will join the ranks of the broken.

However the true star of the weekend for me (and many others) was C90 Adventures – Malaysia to UK. Ed March is one very funny pommie riding his beloved Honda C90 (Mo’s little brother) overland through south-east Asia and the Middle East with side trips up to Everest Base Camp along the way. This film played to packed audiences under the stars at the Moonlight screening with an encore the following day by popular demand.

The crowd was falling around laughing and even the BMW riders were able to crack a smile when Ed got up a head of anti-GS steam.

Filmed on an everyday camera with some smartphone footage thrown in, it proves that you don’t need the top-end equipment to produce an excellent film. If the content is exceptional we will forgive the occasional finger over the lens.

Make sure the ATFF is on your calendar for 2016 – not least because Mo will be taking centre stage for a presentation about our round Oz adventure.

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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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