DJ, cocktails, swanky venue: must-haves for any decent movie premiere. Only this time the film wasn’t a rom-com or an action flick, it was something wholly worthwhile.
Carpets for Communities screened Spinning Dreams Cambodia in Hotel 1961 last Friday, attracting a full house. The film is the product of ten multi-national cyclists, riding over 400km through Vietnam and Cambodia raising almost $50,000 for CFC in the process.
The concept was set up by Gone Cyclin’ founder Ashwin Subramaniam, an Indian living in Singapore who started the initiative with friends for young people to raise cash for sustainable organisations. The project works in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Bukit Timah in Singapore.
Ashwin had previously cycled Timor Leste for a sustainable enterprise also making carpets so when he came across CFC, he applied the same idea.
The documentary follows the group’s journey from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap, letting us in on sore legs, chaffed bums, private jokes and poignant moments. Of course, as with any depiction of Indochina, the magnificent scenery plays a huge role, as do the friendly locals and frequent monsoon showers. Then there are the obligatory Cambo kids, pulling faces on motos, trying on shades, and high fiving in packs.
Accompanying the daily cycling tribulations (of which there are many) are observations from the riders and their local guides on what the journey means to them. The ride concluded with the group seeing the work of CFC first hand, meeting the children who have gone to school and will go on to university as a result of the program, and the women who’ve been able to make a living weaving carpets.
On the night, special guests included Andre du Plessis from the Rotary Club in Singapore who helped to get the event off the ground.
For CFC however, the ride gave the organisation more than just financial aid – it was a lifeline. “It literally saved Carpets for Communities,” says the very active CEO Lindsay Richie. “They came in when it was do or die for us. It was fantastic timing. That money was able to sustain us for the year.”
A trailer for Spinning Dreams Cambodia can be watched online at gonecyclin.com.