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June Art Film series brings painted cyclists in the buff

Zebra Girls Photo by Dave Mesford
Zebra Girls Photo by Dave Mesford

Just weeks before Seattle’s well-known Fremont solstice parade, Vashon Film Society brings island movie lovers "Beyond Naked," the locally shot documentary that captures the parade’s famous colorfully painted (but otherwise naked) bicyclists. The film will be shown at the Vashon Theatre on Friday, June 7 at 9:30 pm.
The documentary follows the stories of four first-time riders who embrace the artistic challenge of slathering on body paint and biking sans clothing down the neighborhood parade route.
Filmmaker Dan McComb attended celebrated director Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School and was motivated by the famous auteur’s exhortation that, "If something fascinates you, you must do it."
McComb rode naked in the parade in 2003 and says, "It was a scary, exhilarating and transformative experience that made a lasting impression on me."
The film looks into how an unpaid, loosely organized group of unclothed bike riding individuals has managed to become synonymous with the Fremont Solstice Parade. Besides profiling four first-time riders, McComb includes the back story of the Fremont Arts Council and how the neighborhood first reacted when the naked cyclists started showing up in the parade.
Acknowledging that his film has a lighthearted side, McComb says he hopes it also creates conversations about personal freedom and self-expression.
"Beyond Naked" recently won the prize for Best Documentary Feature at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival.
Director Dan McComb, producer Lisa Cooper and some of the bike riding cast and crew members plan to attend Friday’s Film Society screening and will do a Q and A following the show.
Vashon Film Society presents monthly single screenings of art films on First Fridays after the Gallery Cruise. Admission to Friday’s film is $7.