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Two wheels ... Taupo man Brett Cotter is bringing his Big Bike Film Night to Oamaru on September 29 as part of the Waitaki Arts Festival. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A film festival that focuses on a two-wheeled mode of transport is coming to Oamaru for the first time this month.

The Big Bike Film Night is part of the Waitaki Arts Festival, which started on Thursday and runs until October 8.

The film night will feature several documentary-style films that look at various styles of cycling and the people involved with them.

The event was started by Taupo enthusiast Brett Cotter after an act of vandalism in his home town in early 2014.

“Here in Taupo, we had a giant bike, which was 3m tall, erected about four years ago. It was fantastic, just breathtaking,” Mr Cotter said.

“Sadly, about three months after being put up, some guys vandalised it. It was really heartbreaking and the local community were pretty devastated, with Taupo being a bit of a biking hot spot.

“I had the desire to drive and really be part of something to get it resurrected and returned, so I came up with the idea of doing a film night, hence the name, to raise some funds.”

He ended up raising about $2500 and was soon asked if he planned to hold a similar event the following year.

He ended up doing just that, and has continued to do so every year since.

In the Oamaru lineup there are films looking at variously London’s various bike subcultures, the story of an American bicycle frame builder, one which documents an attempt to cycle up the 1912m Mt Ventoux in France, and two features on BMXwith contrasting stories and styles.

Movie-goers did not have to enjoy cycling to follow the stories, Mr Cotter said.

“To me, the stories that are going to be shown are about real people, real adventures, and it’s relevant. They’re cycling stories, but you don’t have to be a cyclist to connect with what it’s all about.

“It’s the human interest side of things and cycling’s the medium . . . it’s the bike that’s the unifying part of it.”

He said the film night had been screened more than 50 times around New Zealand over the past 12 months, and Oamaru was the last stop before he took it to Australia.

“It’s been beyond my expectations . . . it’s snowballed dramatically.”

The Oamaru screening is at the Oamaru Opera House on September 29 at 7.30pm.