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Introducing our Panel of Judges.

The Panel, who represent both the cycling and the film communities, meet, critique and assess the merits of the films being submitted. They will then select the award winners and the films that will be presented in the programme for the Big Bike Film Night and our tour.

Assessing the movies to determine the very best is certainly a lot of work, but also plenty of fun.

Our 2016 Panel

BRETT COTTER

CURATOR AND FILM PEDLAR

Brett’s love affair with the bike started when he young, and he’s been smitten ever since.

With a track record in sales and marketing, hospitality and event management Brett organised the premiere screening of the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival’s ‘National Tour’ to Taupo in 2012. He’s been involved since, and the excitement and thrill of film festivals’ is something that he totally enjoys.

Brett’s roles as the Curator is simple- seek out the best cycling films and present them to the audience for a memorable experience. Over spring Brett has the tough job of sourcing films and watching submissions from film makers. After consulting with his fellow Judges, Brett then assembles the jigsaw of films into the Big Bike Film Night programme.

In his spare time, riding his bike with his 10 year old daughter along the Lake front in Taupo is always a good excuse for an ice-cream.

Favourite Bike Rides: Waihaha and Waihora Great Lake Taupo Trail, and the Golden Triangle, Canadian Rockies.

GRAEME SIMPSON

Graeme is widely regarded as one of the most effervescent bike supporters of Rotorua’s bike trails. A TV Producer, director and scriptwriter and mountain biker since 1985, first riding the Whakarewarewa trails over 20 years ago.

Event media director: including 2006 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, 2009 UCI Trials World Cup, 2010 & 2017 Singlespeed World Champs and 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Rotorua Bike Festivals.

Mountain Bike columnist and writer. Blue Dog Media

Favourite trails: everything in the Whakarewarewa trail network; Gooseberry Mesa, Utah and Sedona, Arizona.

ZANE BRAY

Currently I love cruising along the Auckland Light Path taking in the view and the aural variety spaghetti junction offers.

I ride a variety of bikes, sometimes to work via the train on my commuter bike, adventure riding on my Full Suss, or cruising through town on my single speed.

The classic N+1 rider having just purchased another bike. For work I ride a cargo bike or a folding electric bike, having the variety of steeds to mount keeps me entertained.

Zane is Senior Walking and Cycling Coordinator at Auckland Transport focused on education.

MEAD NORTON

Mead is an award winning international photographer who got his start in photography through his love of biking. He first started riding mountain bikes as a kid in Austin, Texas, USA and has travelled all over the USA, Asia, and Austrasia riding and shooting events. His love of mountain biking has lead him to base himself in Rotorua, New Zealand, one of the top riding destinations in the world.

 Mead is currently working on a few on going projects centred around Mountain Biking and Rotorua and is a trustee of the Rotorua Bike Festival and is a committee member of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club.

Check out some of Mead’s work here www.meadnorton.com

PETER SMITH

If anyone knows a good film it’s Peter Smith. Peter’s dream as a 13-year-old was wanting to become a film projectionist. After deciding not to spend three years training as a projectionist he went into other fields including managing the McKenzie store in Taupo. 33 years ago he went into partnership and bought into Starlight Cinema, then a 600 seat cold hall and has over the forgoing 33 years built a cinema complex with six screens – something of which he and Taupo can be very proud to have as an asset.

Peter’s generosity to various local Taupo community projects is unequalled and last year he was recognised as a Kiwibank Local Hero. All-round nice guy, Peter is one of New Zealand’s true gentlemen.

If you’re stopping in at Taupo make sure you visit Starlight Cinema