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Uranium Film Festival

The International Uranium Film Festival of Rio de Janeiro is dedicated to all films (movies, documentaries, animated films, image films, art, fiction and non-fiction) about any nuclear issue: uranium mining, nuclear power plants, nuclear accidents, atomic bombs, nuclear waste, radioactive risks: From Hiroshima to Fukushima. It is an annual and global film festival with travelling festivals in other countries and cities.

The best and most important films of the year receive the festival Award or a Special Recognition. The Uranium Film Festival Award is a piece of art created by Brazilian waste-material-artist Getúlio Damado, who lives and works in the famous artist quarter Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro. Getúlio uses waste material that he finds in the streets of Santa Teresa and old, broken watches to remember the first atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima. Watches in Hiroshima stopped exactly at 8:15 in the morning when the A-bomb exploded on August 6th, 1945. 


Special Achievement Awards of 2nd International Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro

The 2nd International Uranium Film Festival of Rio de Janeiro 2012 awarded
films from USA, Sweden and Germany with the Festival’s "Yellow Oscar". Bill
Keisling's "Not for Public Release: a Nuclear Incident in Lock Haven", USA,
received the Best Feature Award, and Swedish Filmmaker Marko Kattilakoski
received the Short film Award for his movie Coffee Break (Fikapaus). "Leonids
Story" by German film director Rainer Ludwigs and Ukrainian producer Tetyana
Chernyavska received the Best Animated Film Award. Peter Greenaway’s outstanding experimental documentary "Atomic Bombs on the
Planet Earth", that shows the insanity of over 2200 atomic bombs dropped on the
planet Earth between 1945 and 1989, was honoured with the special achievement
award “Hors Concours”. “Peter Greenaway, a multi-artist with more that 70 films
produced is in a category in his own”, said Uranium Film Festival Judge João
Luiz Leocádio, Nuclear Engineer and Professor for Cinema at Niteroi’s Univercity
UFF (Universidade Federal Fluminense).

Further special achievement awards of the 2nd International Uranium Film
Festival go to "Chernobyl, the Invisible Thief", by Christoph Boekel (Germany),
"Buried in Earthskin", by Helena Kingwill (South Africa), "Australian Atomic
Confessions", by Katherine Aigner (Australia), "Radioactive Wolves", by Klaus
Feichtenberger (Austria), "The Secret and the Sacred: Two Worlds at Los Alamos"
by Claus Biegert, (Germany) and "Rokkasho Rhapsody" by Hitomi Kamanaka

About the Special Achievement Awards of 2nd International Uranium Film

"Chernobyl, the Invisible Thief", Christoph Boekel,

Special Achievement Award for

masterfully depicting the Chernobyl
catastrophe through multiple perspectives, eventually settling into orbit around
David, an artist, soldier, and "Chernobyl liquidator". The film opens with archival footage of panicky workers (or "liquidators")
picking up pieces of the shattered reactor, with a commentary by the crew that
shot the footage and ended up burying their cameras as radioactive waste. The
science writer for Pravda in 1986 is present at the screening and provides fresh
insight into the radiation doses received by liquidators and film-makers.
Viewers then meet David, who calmly describes his 1986 clean-up work and his
current gradually increasing weakness. We see how his artwork has evolved from
scenes of Spring into visions out of Dante's Inferno. Stunningly,
director Boekel's wife, whom he met during the making of this film, dies of
cancer in the middle of the shooting. The film's protagonist David expires
off-screen near the film's end. Chernobyl The Invisible Thief explores
and integrates layer upon layer of a reality as elusive as it is immense. In the
end, the only winner is the Master Thief Himself. This film clearly communicates
that the Grim Reaper's methodical work around Chernobyl is far from done.

"Buried in Earthskin",

Helena Kingwill, South Africa.

Special Achievement Award

for the director's confidence in her native
instincts to create a film that follows the route taken by trucks transporting
nuclear waste from Cape Towns's reactors to a disposal site in the pristine
semi-desert of Namaquiland. All along the way she discovers realities both indigenous and technological.
Her intrepid effort to get to the bottom of South Africa's nuclear program takes
her to experts for and against the technology. Her film's stunning conclusion
starts with the revelation that South Africa has already developed safe
alternatives to nuclear fission with wind and solar installations up and
running, and more on the way; but Buried in Earthskin's conclusion goes
into a sudden nosedive with the disclosure that tens of billions of dollars have
been committed by the South African government for building more nuclear
reactors. Gandhi is quoted at the end with a thought as relevant in South Africa
as it is worldwide: "There is enough in this world for everyone's need; there
is not enough in the world for everyone's greed."

"Australian Atomic Confessions

", Katherine Aigner, Australia.

Special Achievement Award

for its brilliant use of visual language, its
balance between sacred and profane, and its grounding in Aboriginal reality.
The director spent three years among Aboriginal women who transmitted to her
the spirit of their ancestral sacred spaces. We learn of ancient "story lines"
embedded in the earth's crust, and we hear the myths of a culture brought close
to destruction by Cold Warriors blind to Aboriginal reality. Never-before-seen
Australian archival footage of Britain's above-ground nuclear explosions is
combined with Western and Indigenous witnesses to the country's cataclysmic
past, its uranium-impacted present, and its highlevel nuclear waste-prone
future. As the film title suggests, Katherine Aiger's first cinematic work goes
beyond narrative to capture a dawning national awareness of the value of
Australia's Aboriginal roots. Australian Atomic Confessions holds the key
to a future for this once pristine country that can honour and begin to heal its
vast and imperilled sacred lands.

"Radioactive Wolves",

Klaus Feichtenberger, Austria

Special Achievement Award

for its in-depth study of wildlife within
Chernobyl's Zone of Abandonment where civilization suddenly stopped, and flora
and fauna rushed in where humans fear to tread. This film takes us through radioactive towns and across contaminated
waterways to observe up-close and personal the region's waterfowl, birds of
prey, beavers, fish, bison, wild horses, and the Zone's top predator, wolves.
It strives to answer the question: how fares nature's top predator inside
Chernobyl's radioactive Zone of Abandonment? Radioactive Wolves is a
naturalist masterpiece for the end of the world. Shot over a period of several
years, it moves at the stately pace of the seasons. The answer to its
top-predator question is inconclusive. The film's scientists are a new breed of
post-apocalyptic humans, ones with nothing left to lose who have become deeply
respectful of nature that has been stricken but not yet annihilated by human

"The Secret and the Sacred: Two Worlds at Los Alamos",

Claus Biegert,

Special Achievement Award

for its incisive capture of the spirit of two
opposed but parallel worlds: the world of nuclear weaponsmakers and the world of
the guardians of the Earth. These worlds overlap in northern New Mexico around
Los Alamos, the birthplace of the Bomb. Sparks fly as Claus Biegert forges
interviews and unearths images and archival footage. The Secret and the
features Ed Grothus, a human bridge between the two worlds. Once a
worker at the Lab, now owner of The Black Hole, an atomic junk shop, Grothus is
the "fool on the hill" who dares call out for a legacy that will sustain rather
than destroy the planet. From the indigenous realm comes the ancient teaching on
elemental serpent Avanu, guardian of the springs and fiery avenger of those who
poison its waters. Avanu is juxtaposed to a Los Alamos Director preaching the
gospel of Deterrence to an auditorium full of warrior workers. The contrast
between the two realms could not be starker, and by film's end, the consequences
could not be graver.

"Rokkasho Rhapsody",

Hitomi Kamanaka, Japan.

Special Achievement Award for its delicate handling of the monstrous
technological nightmare of the 21-billion-dollar Rokkasho Spent Nuclear Fuel
Reprocessing Plant built in a fishing/farming community in northern Japan. One woman, director Hitomi Kamanaka, has schooled herself on the nature of
the threat and tirelessly conveys her concerns to her neighbors. She also grows
tulips and organic vegetables, cheerful symbols of an unpoisoned life. At the
end, the reprocessing plant prevails. In the film's heart-breaking final moment
Hitomi tells us that she has decided to remain in Rokkasho. By now we know that
this rarest of humans, the laughing activist, has resigned herself to life in a
land of never-ending radioactive fallout. Hiromi Kamanaka's journey has been
valiant, and along the way she leavens the horror with certain timeless truths:
"Reprocessing and Farming Cannot Coexist. In This There Can Be No Neutrality:
You are Either For it or Against it. Against Insuperable Odds, Do Not Give

"Atomic Bombs on Planet Earth",

Peter Greenaway and Irma de Vries (Video
design,United Kingdom/The Netherlands

Special Achievement Award “Hors Concours”

for reminding us of
something we have tended to forget, or maybe even not to know: that 2,201 atomic
bombs have been exploded on, within, or over our own home planet - which, from
Earth's point of view, are not atomic tests at all but preemptive nuclear
strikes. Greenaway creates an infernal cinematic aesthetic to convey this truth.
Using 25 screens at once, Atomic Bombs on Planet Earth overwhelms the
viewer's field of vision with dazzling cascades of poison fire punctuated by
percussive sounds and eerie sonics to convey the reckless enormity of the many
Bombs humans exploded not all that long ago. The grid of screens gives rise to
multiples of every blast a dozen times or more and staggers clips to make them
tumble downscreen, slantwise, in coruscating tides. By the time the
razzle-dazzle's over, Greenaway has delivered more fireballs than any viewer
will be able to absorb -- and more than any living planet may be able to
sustain. The first Trinity blast appears several times as Robert Oppenheimer
provides the film's voice-over with words repeated like a mantra: "Some
laughed - Some cried - Most remained silent."
These are hardly words of wisdom from the father of the Bomb... and half a
century on, in the absence of anything like sage words on nuclear weapons, we
get what's coming to us: an experimental documentary impossible to forget that
triggers in our collective brain an atomic migraine of criminally insane
proportions whose energies go deeper and are destined to last longer than our
own DNA.

Award Statement of Marko Kattilakoski from Sweden

Award Statement of Bill Keisling from

Award Statement of Rainer Ludwigs from

The Uranium Film Festival is dedicated to films about any nuclear issue: uranium
mining, nuclear power plants, nuclear accidents, atomic bombs, nuclear waste,
radioactive risks. During three Weeks the Festival screened 54 documentaries,
movies and animated films from all continents in the Cinemateca of Rio de
Janeiro’s famous Modern Art Museum MAM. After Rio de Janeiro the Uranium Film
Festival is now travelling. The next stop is planned in Berlin at the beginning
of October! The call for entries for the festival number 2013 is now open until January 31, 2013.


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