A true love-story, filmed over four years in thirty-two countries by one man on a bicycle and the love he never expected.
In 2007, 23-year-old Englishman Tom Allen is all set for a successful career, but he finds himself persisted by the question of our time: isn’t there more to life than this? Leaving it all behind, Tom sets off on the ultimate quest for freedom.
A total newbie to the world of long-distance bicycle touring, 23-year-old Tom Allen pedaled away from his comfortable English lifestyle and set off into the unknown to “cycle a lap of the Earth”.
With his mates Mark and Andy, Tom sets off across Europe. Together they encounter a host of idealists, eccentrics and fellow travellers, who help – and sometimes hinder – them on their epic journey. But as winter approaches, temperatures drop and tensions start to rise. Romances old and new pull his friends away from the trip, leaving Tom to face the road alone.
For the next 12,000 miles, with neither maps nor guidebooks, Tom films the unfolding of his dream. Despite his lack of experience and questionable athletic talent, he cycles and camps his way across three continents. But the journey takes an unlikely detour when he meets a beautiful, feisty Iranian-Armenian girl – Tenny.
Totally smitten but determined to keep his dream alive, Tom convinces Tenny to leave her life in Yerevan behind and get on a bicycle and join him. But after cycling to Iran together, they come up against the toughest obstacle yet: Tenny’s parents, who forbid their beloved daughter from continuing on this harebrained scheme.
Tom is forced to choose between staying with Tenny or continuing his ride alone. His decisions lead him through the Middle East, into the Sahara, where he encounters violence, sickness, beauty and humbling generosity. He sails across to Yemen and Oman, meeting challenges and adventures he could never have foreseen.
But on a beach in Yemen – a paradise shared with a group of police officers that won’t let him ride alone – he catches a glimpse of the answer he set out to find. Tom cycles back to Tenny to propose.
Janapar – named after the Armenian word for journey – is an honest and life-affirming tale of finding what you’re looking for when you least expect it. And it is especially Tom and Tenny’s personal development, the love story combined with the daily hardships on the open road that make Tom’s journey more than memorable.
After returning home Tom wrote a book about his travels (the production of which was successfully funded by a completed Kickstarter campaign). Even better, with incredible foresight and talent, he filmed 300 hours of his travels, which, under the guidance of producer-director James Newton, have been cut into a highly personal feature-length film.
Janapar: Love on a Bike is the titlde of Tom Allen’s 110-minute movie about his bicycle tour around the world and the love he found along the way. The word “janapar” comes from the Armenian word for “journey” and is the perfect word to describe Tom Allen’s transformation from the inexperienced and headstrong, young boy we are introduced to at the beginning of the film… to the weathered, worldly and caring young man we discover at the film’s conclusion.
Says Tom: “The open road is the place where you find out who you are. Every decision you make has an immediate and palpable effect. This is not just about finding your way; it’s about the decisions that shape the experience in its completeness. How will I overcome this obstacle? What will happen if I accept this invitation? What do these people and places have to teach me? That’s what the open road means, and that’s why no two journeys on it are ever the same.”
Find the entire documentary here: https://janapar.com/watch
Janapar’s World Premiere was held at the 20th Raindance Film Festival in London on Sept 28th 2012.
Since then it has been screened on film festivals around the world. Official selections include: ZagrebDox 2013, Bansko Film Festival 2012, Adventure Travel Film Festival 2013, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival 2013, Sofia Menar Film Festival 2013, New York Bicycle Film Festival 2013, Transatlantyk Festival Poznan 2013, and many others.
Among the awards it won are: Spirit of Adventure Gold Award at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival 2013, the Dr. Michael J Hagopian Award for Best Documentary at the Pomegranate Film Festival 2013 in Toronto, and Best In Show at the Adventure Travel Film Festival 2013.
Janapar: Love on a Bike is not just a travelogue movie made for people who love bicycle touring, but is a story that anyone who has ever been in love, or has hoped to be in love, can relate to.