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October 4, 2023

Diverse Voices in Docs Alum to Premiere Feature at Chicago International Film Festival

Bike Vessel, directed by Diverse Voices in Docs alum Eric D. Seals and in association with Kartemquin Films, will enjoy its world premiere as part of the 59th Chicago International Film Festival, October 11 – 22, 2023. Bike Vessel is slated to show on October 14, 2023 at AMC NEWCITY 14, with encore showings on October 20 and 21. Tickets can be purchased here.

In his directorial debut, the Chicago-based documentary filmmaker creates a tender portrait of a Black family, highlighting the unique bond built through bicycling with his father. Bike Vessel is a poetic meditation on kinship, connection and deep familial love. This groundbreaking film delves deep into an ever blossoming father-son relationship that emulates exactly what we all hope for in a parental bond. 

“This film became the catalyst for a new stage of my relationship with my dad, one filled with never-before-had conversations, and ultimately, deeper connection,” director Eric Seals said. 

Faced with the prospect of rapidly declining health after three open-heart surgeries, Donnie Seals’ resolve to improve his health led to an unexpected discovery: a love of cycling. Bringing his son, director Eric, along with him, Bike Vessel follows the father and son duo as they cycle from St. Louis to Chicago.

This year’s festival program includes 99 feature films and 58 shorts, and showcases cinema from countries around the world including Ukraine, South Korea, Spain, Georgia, China, France, Mexico, Japan, Iran, Argentina, and more.

Seals also is planning a national bike tour to increase the impact and outreach of the film. The goal of his impact campaign is simple: to encourage Black and brown communities to get out and ride. The film will host screenings in select communities across the country that will be followed by panel discussions featuring wellness coaches, healers, cyclists, and the film’s main participants. Each screening will commence with a community bike ride. Bike’s and helmets will be available for those who need them. 

The impact screenings will be free and open to the public with a unique, interactive viewing of the film that will allow the audience to take part in projecting the film. The impact campaign is set to kick-off in Chicago, with screening events in Bronzeville, East Garfield Park and Austin coming in Spring 2024.