Phil Keoghan’s Le Ride Screens at US Festival
New Zealander Phil Keoghan, host of the popular television show The Amazing Race, will open the American Documentary Film Festival on 31 March with Le Ride, which had its world premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival in July 2016.
Keoghan, 49, will attend the screening, which is also the West Coast premiere of his film.
“This is an example of great documentary filmmaking, where the creator, in this case Keoghan, was inspired to tell a relatively unknown piece of history in an unconventional way,” festival director Ted Grouya said. “Le Ride will appeal to a wide audience as it is timeless, evocative, good-story telling.”
Le Ride documents Keoghan and his friend Ben Cornell’s reinactment of the 1928 Tour de France, and the series of events that precipitated their interest in doing so. “I was inspired to undertake this ride,” Keoghan says, “after reading about fellow New Zealander, Harry Watson, who was the first Kiwi to compete in the Tour de France in 1928. I am a cycling enthusiast myself, so Watson’s biography, Harry Watson: The Mile Eater, really came alive for me.”
Averaging 240km a day for 26 days, Keoghan and Cornell traversed the entire route taken by Watson and his team, on original vintage steel bikes with no gears and marginal brakes. Following the 1928 route around the perimeter of France 85 years later wasn’t always exactly possible, thanks to vastly increased traffic and motorway systems, but the two were determined – some might say recklessly so – to get as close to it as possible. Travelling the 5600km, in 22 stages, they kept pace with the daily progress (if not the number of blow-outs) related by Watson in his vivid journals.
Handsomely shot with beautiful views of the French countryside, Le Ride is rich in fascinating detail and photographic evidence of Watson and his teammates’ epic achievement, Keoghan’s film captures the essence of the experience felt by the riders in the 1928 Tour de France. Cyclists and non-cyclists alike will come away from Le Ride with an intense appreciation, not only for Watson and his team, but also for Keoghan and Cornell, and their tenacious re-creation of the 1928 ride.
Original article by Site Staff, Palm Springs Life, February 9, 2017.
Photo by Doug Jensen and Le Ride Film.