Back to IndieWire

‘Afghan Cycles’ Showcases Women Who Subvert Gender Norms on Two Wheels

'Afghan Cycles' Showcases Women Who Subvert Gender Norms on Two Wheels

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

Afghan Cycles

Logline: “Afghan Cycles” is a feature documentary about a new generation of young Afghan women challenging gender and cultural barriers, using the bicycle as a vehicle for freedom and social change.

Elevator Pitch: 
While riding a bicycle is a simple act for most of us, for the women of Afghanistan, embarking on a two-wheels is far from easy. In a country where cycling is taboo for women, each pedal stroke is an act of defiance, a challenge to the gender and cultural barriers that define their everyday lives. This is the topic of “Afghan Cycles,” a documentary film that seeks to tell the story of these courageous women.

Production Team:
Director – Sarah Menzies (“Catch It,” “The Way Home: Returning to Our National Parks”)
Producer – Shannon Galpin (Author: “Mountain to Mountain: A Journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan”) 
Executive Producer – Caryn Capotosto (“Best of Enemies,” 20 Feet from Stardom”)
Impact Producer – Anna Brones (“Mending the Line,” Author: “The Culinary Cyclist”)
Cinematographer – Jenny Nichols (“Pride of Namibia”)
Editor – Nora Gully (“Finding Vivian Maier,” The Trials of Muhammad Ali”)

About the Film:
Female cyclists are rare in many parts of the world, but in Afghanistan, gender barriers make cycling culturally unacceptable. My first bike ride in the Panjshir Valley was in the fall 2009. In over 14 visits to Afghanistan, I had never seen women riding bikes. Never that is, until November 2012. 

Within months, we had an all-female film crew landing in Kabul, and now, three years later we are embarking on our final production trip to finish the film. We can’t wait to share the beauty, determination, and courage of these Afghan women with the world.

Current Status: We have a final shoot planned for October 2015 in Afghanistan, and are beginning to edit. We recently launched a Kickstarter to raise finishing funds.

Got a project that you’d like to be featured? Submit to Project of the Day!

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Toolkit and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox