Return On Investment

5 films in this block • 67 minutes

The Films

The Tree that Fire Built

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 6 min
  • Director Jason Whalen

Filmmaker in Attendance, Michigan Premiere

To the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of East Texas, to lose the longleaf pine is to lose a part of their culture. The tree provides needles that highly skilled weavers make into baskets. The skills and knowledge is passed down from generation to generation but as the longleaf pine forests became threatened, so did this transfer of wisdom. Prescribed burning is helping to restore longleaf pine forests and preserve the cultural traditions that longleaf pine trees can provide.


  • Year 2021
  • Country Canada
  • Runtime 2 min
  • Director Harrison Mendel, Bret Rheeder

Everything is connected. Each ride is an extension of the one before. Each reentry is a transition to the next launch. Each experience builds on one another toward a flow state of endless progression. Only the settings and perspectives change along this continuum. In this short film by rider Brett Rheeder and filmmaker Harrison Mendel, the sequence of individual movements are all linked together as a cohesive collection, with each maneuver unique yet forming a coherent visual journey across ever-changing landscapes by maintaining a locked perspective.

Taste Of Work: Daily Bread

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 12 min
  • Director Mia Hagerty

Filmmaker in Attendance, Family Friendly, Michigan Premiere, World Premiere

Daily Bread explores the meaning of community and the idea of service from the perspective of Traverse City’s Reverend Jane Lippert and her work in response to food insecurity and in support of those most on the margin of society.

Art of Grind

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 7 min
  • Director Dominic Gill

Michigan Premiere

Since the 1800s bicycles have been a powerful liberating tool, starting with the first faltering pedal strokes of a child daring to venture a little further from home. Yet, somewhere in our cultural trajectory, as we are fed content to divide and categorize us as better or worse than our neighbors, many of us have forgotten the power of this simple machine to build community. This film celebrates the “Run what you brung” adage, and reminds us that, however we choose to engage with the ever changing world of cycling, there is more that brings us together than sets us apart.


  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 40 min
  • Director Brandon Watts

Struggling to find their seat at the table, mountain bikers have had to form unlikely partnerships in their fight to ride. Little did they know they were actually helping transform the identity of their communities. Specialized and Soil Searching present Biketown, a film by Freehub magazine.

Mountain bikers have a long-standing tradition of working with private property owners, land managers and governments, from the local to federal level. Often, these relationships are driven by a dedicated and passionate group of mountain bikers, trailbuilders and advocates, despite a sometimes turbulent and confrontational past. Biketown takes a deep dive into recreational trail development in Chisholm, Minnesota, Bellingham, Washington, Snowshoe, West Virginia and Pacific City, Oregon to explore themes at the heart of the current mountain bike movement—whether that be cooperation between the timber industry and a mountain bike community, federal forest managers and trailbuilders or advocacy organizations and tourism boards.