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Graduate student's film to compete in International Cycling Film Festival

A bicycle can serve many functions -- a mode of transportation, a form of exercise and, the lesser-known purpose, a deep, symbolic form of art and film.

A short, comedy film titled "Bicycle" made by Ohio University graduate student, Dejan Mraovic, will be competing in the 6th International Cycling Film Festival on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Flottmann-Hallen Theatre in Herne, Germany.

"Bicycle" was made as a project for the class ART 518 Video Art, taught by Professor Rajorshi Ghosh. However, Mraovic spent six extra days after completing the film for class editing and preparing it for film festivals. It was made with the help of University of Cincinnati graduate student and Ohio University alumnus, Chris Luessen.

"Bicycle" was filmed on the Ohio University Athens campus.

"Bicycle" will represent Ohio University in Herne, and I am very proud about it," said Mraovic. "I hope that German audiences will feel the positive energy coming from this movie. People always need laughter."  

Judges of the event selected the best 17 short movies across the world categorized as being bicycle themed. The films in this competition come from 9 different countries: Holland, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Germany.

Winner of this film festival receives the "Goldene Kurbel" or "Golden Crank," the oldest film prize for bicycle-related films. Second and third place films also receive awards and there is an audience's choice award.

Films are judged by a jury of local film, bicycle and art experts. There are technical and cinematic criteria that films must cover to win, but films must also answer several important questions:

•    To what extent does the film tell a bicycle-related story?

•    Does it have a deep political or cultural message related to bicycles or cycling in general?

•    Are there innovations, surprises or unique selling points that have to be taken into account?

•    How entertaining is the film - how does it work within the festival program?

Prior to its selection for this film festival, "Bicycle" was chosen for three other international film festivals in America:

•    The 4th Riverside Saginaw Film Festival in Saginaw, Mich. in November 2010

•    The 14th Green Mountain Film Festival in Montpelier, Vt. in March 2011

•    The 38th Athens International Film and Video Festival in Athens, Ohio, in April 2011

"This is a short film about one very impatient man," said Mraovic, unable to disclose any more information due to the film's three-minute length.

He said he found inspiration for film in Rajko Grlic, eminent professor of film at Ohio University.

Mraovic is a third-year graphic design graduate student from Belgrade, Serbia. He said he wants to stay in America after graduation to find a job as a graphic designer and continue working with film. He is currently working on two new movies that he hopes to complete by the end of this year.