Former Carleton College cinema & media studies (CAMS) instructor Eric Tretbar, Class of 1986, returns to campus this Saturday, May 11, for the Northfield premiere of his latest feature film, "Girl Meets Bike." This local screening will take place at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. The 105-minute film will be followed by a Q & A session with Tretbar, along with members of the cast and crew. The screening is free and opening to the public. Please note that the film is unrated but includes adult content.
Tretbar shot the film in and around Northfield in the summer of 2011 with a crew of mostly Carleton film students, along with strong support from the Northfield community and a cast of real Minneapolis motorcyclists. "We couldn't have made this film without the wonderful support of Northfield and Carleton College. I think everyone will love how beautiful Northfield looks on the big screen!,” says Tretbar.
"Girl Meets Bike" tells the tale of a young high school shop teacher who buys her first motorcycle with the money she had been saving to buy her wedding dress. The finished 105-minute film premiered at the Minneapolis/St.Paul International film festival to a sold-out audience of motorcyclists and festival fans. Tretbar reports, "It was gratifying to hear from many women viewers that 'this was my story'. A number of women said whether or not you ride motorcycles, the story expresses that difficult path of learning to be free—insisting to do everything yourself, by yourself, for yourself."
"Girl Meets Bike" is the 7th feature film by Tretbar, but notes that this time around he used a very different approach for production and distribution. In addition to more traditional film funding sources, Tretbar used the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter, to raise some finishing money last summer. "Through Kickstarter," says Tretbar, "we gained an international audience, with interviews and articles about the movie in Poland and Israel already. Thanks to new online moto friends in Poland plus people in the Carleton community, the film was subtitled in Polish, German, French, Chinese and Spanish for these foreign audiences."
Tretbar, who is a Kansas native and a 1986 graduate of Carleton, says he is very proud of the work done by both the cast and the crew. "I continue to receive many compliments about the beautiful photography in the film, the work of Carleton grads Jameson Siegert '11 (Madison, Wisc.) and Sam Scherf '11 (River Falls, Wisc.). This was the first feature film for most of the cast and crew, many of whom will be at the screening at Carleton, and they did amazing work. We also produced a commentary track on the DVD which discusses everyone's roles, plus working with the surrounding towns of Dundas, Nerstrand and Dennison."
Other Carleton alumni who served as crew members on the production include Max Silver '11 (Los Angeles), Liz Evison '10 (Northfield, Minn.), Hannah Jensen '12 (Wilmington, N.C.), Sam Dunnewold '12 (Northfield, Minn.), Hannah Watson '11 (Brooklyn), Rachel Sklar '11 (Newton Lower Falls, Mass.), and Kristen Asp '10, along with currents students Dan McAlister '13 (Nashville), Lucy Quagraine '13 (Chicago), Linnea Bullion '13 (Edina, Minn.).
A trailer for the film can be found online at www.girlsmeetsbikemovie.com.
Tretbar's films have won the audience award at the Berlin Film Festival, received an Independent Spirit Award nomination (the indie Academy Awards), and aired on the Sundance Channel, German TV, and NBC. They've also screened in competition at world festivals, including London, Athens, Sao Paulo, Warsaw, Seattle, Toronto, Rivertown, Orlando, Vienna, Hong Kong, Melbourne, the American Film Institute, and Los Angeles Independent.
Tretbar is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and musician, scoring much of his film music, and drumming for Minneapolis and L.A. garage/R&B/punk outfits The Funseekers, The Spectors, The Red Hearts and Friends Like These. In addition to producing and promoting his own films, Tretbar currently teaches film production courses at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Cinema & Media Studies. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-5567. The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at Third and College Streets in Northfield.
GIRL MEETS BIKE
105 min/color/USA © 2013 Moto Girl Films
Written and directed by Eric Tretbar
Note: This film is unrated (if rated - R for language, brief nudity)