Bonneville Salt Flats motorcycle racers roar into St. George ‘Out of Nothing’

ST. GEORGE — As the DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival begins, the central characters in one of its movies will be on the cusp of a dramatic sequel to its documentary exploits. “Out of Nothing,” which captures a four-man team’s quest to conquer motorcycle land-speed records, will screen Sept. 10 at the highly regarded festival in St. George. Team Super Rat members will roar up to the screening to the delight of audience members.

A week later, that team will be pursuing another motorcycle land-speed record. Team Super Rat will be taking the XS Dragon Bike to Mike Cook’s Land Speed Shoot-Out, which begins Sept. 17 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah. Their goal is to go over 200 miles per hour, which would eclipse their own mark of 194.6 mph in the 2000 cc special construction, nonstreamlined category. This rare and special film will remind you how perseverance against all odds can send the most unlikely men roaring into glory.

At Bonneville, a team member will be riding a 14-foot-long motorcycle, dubbed the Dragon Bike.

Bonneville is at the heart of “Out of Nothing,” a 93-minute film that tracks brothers Mark and Carl Bjorklund, as well as friends Bill Woods and Jason Omer, all from the Bellingham, Washington, area. Carl and Mark, accompanied by other key behind-the-scenes production personnel, will be attending the screening and bringing the bikes.

“Out of Nothing” brings viewers along on a humorous and poignant journey to the 46-square-mile expanse dubbed “Bonneville” for short. It is one of the flattest spots on the Earth and therefore attracts motorcycle racing enthusiasts and record-setters from all over the world.

An intimate look at the men’s singular drive to make something extraordinarily special “out of nothing” and shatter American Motorcyclist Association speed records, the film features stunning visuals and evocative original music.

In addition to greeting moviegoers at DOCUTAH for the screening, the Bjorklunds are bringing along some of the bikes they built to race, including some from the movie, for photo opportunities.

Team Super Rat will also have merchandise on site for sale. Because setting world land speed records does not translate into cash prizes, funding both the team’s high-speed and documentary efforts have been ongoing challenges.

Mark Bjorklund, Team Super Rat’s de facto “captain,” said those associated with “Out of Nothing” have been touched by the positive reception that the film has enjoyed thus far.

In June, ESPN licensed the television rights to show the documentary, and it may begin screening the film later this year on any ESPN or ABC network.

“We have reached a wide audience with this documentary — it’s not just people who love motorcycles. I’ve had people come up to me and tell me, ‘Kids are going to read books because of you guys,’” Bjorklund related. “That’s a real feel-good moment, when you know that you changed someone’s life and affected them in some extremely positive way.”

Among other responses, he hopes “Out of Nothing” inspires an increased emphasis on industrial arts in schools and that young people see the value of working with their hands.

“Not everybody has to be into motorcycles,” Bjorklund said. “But do everything you do with passion and repeat the process over and over again—and understand the value of time, as your hands and your brain become one. It’s so satisfying to create things.”

“Out of Nothing” has garnered a variety of awards on the film festival circuit, including Best Documentary Feature at the Festival of World Cinema in London, the Audience Choice Award at the Scruffy City Film & Music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Best Cinematography at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.

Film screenings for “Out of Nothing”

“Out of Nothing” will be shown at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at the Megaplex Theatres, Sunset Stadium 8, 905 S. Main St. in St. George.

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DOCUTAH’s mission is to inspire a global connection through independent documentary films and intellectual discussions. DOCUTAH strives to enhance the education of independent filmmakers, aspiring film students, citizens of the world and the community.

DOCUTAH is one of the few university-sponsored film festivals in the United States. It is an international pure-documentary film festival. As part of Dixie State University’s academic component, DOCUTAH also offers master class seminars and filmmaker panels where student, amateur and professional filmmakers can discuss and advance their skills in the art of filmmaking.


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