From Rio & Berlin to the American Southwest

Uranium Film Festival

Since 2011 the International Uranium Film Festival shows world-wide movies and documentaries about the risks of radioactivity and nuclear power.  After the screenings in Berlin from October 9th to 14th the Uranium Film will travel this year to  the Southwestern United States from November 29th through December 9th. The in the world unique film fest has now selected the first 16 documentaries to be screened during its tour through the American Southwest.

The schedule for the U.S. Southwest tour of the 2018 International Uranium Film Festival is as follows: 
November 29th and 30th and December 1st, Navajo Nation Museum, Hwy 264 & Post Office Loop, Window Rock, Navajo Nation, AZ
December 2nd, Flagstaff, AZ
December 6th, Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave, Albuquerque, NM
December 7th, Grants, NM
December 9th, Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe, NM

First 16 films selected / Film list alphabetical 


Marshall Islands, 2018, Directors Dan Lin & Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, poem video, English, 6 min.

Art & Awareness: A powerful poem video about the legacy of the US atomic bomb tests on the Marshall Islands and the Runit dome nuclear waste site in the Enewetak Atoll. 


Australia, 2015, Produced and Directed by Kim Mavromatis and Quenten Agius, MAV Media in Association with NITV (National Indigenous TV Australia). Documentary, Australian English and Australian Aboriginal (Antikirrinya) with English subtitles, 5 min.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s the Australian government authorised British Nuclear testing at Emu Field and Maralinga in Outback South Australia. We journey with Antikirrinya Elder, Ingkama Bobby Brown to his homelands in outback South Australia where he explains the legacy of living with British Nuclear testing - how he witnessed the first tests on the Australian mainland at Emu Field (1953) and experienced the devastating affects of radioactive fallout on his family, people and country. This is the first time Bobby has spoken out about what he witnessed when he was a boy - what happened to his family and country and the people who went missing - during British Nuclear testing. British Nuclear testing was a breach of the King's Letters Patent, the founding document that established the state of South Australia (1836), which granted Aboriginal people the legal right to occupy and enjoy their land for always. How could they occupy and enjoy their land when their land was being blown up and irradiated by nuclear fallout. Trailer:

Crying Earth Rise Up 

USA, 2014, Documentary. Director:  Suree Towfighnia | Producer:  Suree Towfighnia and Courtney Hermann. Documentary, Original Language:  English, 57 min,

Crying Earth Rise Up tells the story of two Lakota women’s  parallel search for answers to the question: Why are there high levels of radiation in our drinking water and how can we protect our families and community against this threat?  The documentary is an intimate portrait of the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on sacred water. It tells a timely story of protecting land, water and a way of life. 

Dignity at a Monumental Scale 

USA, 2018, Director & Producer Kelly Whalen, Art-documentary, English, 8 min

When images of everyday Navajo life began appearing at a monumental scale on abandoned buildings, roadside stands and water towers across the Four Corners region, it was a surprise for many in the community to discover it was the work of Chip Thomas (aka Jetsonorama), a long-time resident known by many as a healer of another kind.


Half Life: The Story of  America’s Last Uranium Mill 

USA, 2016, Director: Justin Clifton, Documentary, English, 12 min

In Southeastern Utah, not far from many of America’s famed national parks, lies America’s last remaining uranium mill. After more than 36 years in operation, the leaders of the nearby

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s White Mesa community worry that lax regulations and aging infrastructure are putting their water supply, and their way of life, at risk. Trailer:

The 12-minute film, “Half Life”, is designed to draw attention to ongoing contamination and regulatory failures at the White Mesa Mill, and to the mill’s role as a keystone in the North American uranium industry. The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Uranium Watch, and the Grand Canyon Trust have all used the legal and regulatory process, including the Trust’s ongoing citizen suit in federal district court, to exert pressure on the mill owners and regulators. However, the White Mesa Mill has never received large-scale public attention; indeed, even local residents are largely unaware that the mill receives some of the most toxic wastes (ISL and alternate feed) in North America as well as ore mined across the Colorado Plateau. „Half Life” is more than a film about the White Mesa Mill in Southern Utah, it is a call to action to become informed on our energy issues in the United States and demand that our clean air and water be preserved.

Hatutaki - uranium 

Tanzania/Germany 2016/17, Director Sophie Filip, Producer Robert Cordes, Music video, English, 5 min.

The music video informs about the dangers of uranium mining and about what would happen if it took place as recently planed in the area of Bahi in  Tanzania. The Rapper Wakazi is calling for resistance.  The video should serve as means to create awareness in Tanzania and the whole world on the topic of uranium mining in Bahi. The Chorus is sung by the Tanzanian group the Harmonies and Sophie Filip. The Beat was produced by Crispy Gold in cooperation with Swahili Records and musicians from Hamburg.


UK, 2017, Directors Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena, Producer Lise Autogena, Documentary,  Danish and Greenlandic with English subtitles,  30 min

The film is a work in-progress, forming the first part of the artists’ long-term investigation into the conflicts facing the small, mostly indige

nous, community of Narsaq in southern Greenland. Narsaq is located next to the pristine Kvanefjeld mountain;  site of one of the richest rare earth mineral resources deposits in the world, and one of the largest sources of uranium. Greenland is a former colony of Denmark, which is now recognised as an “autonomous administrative division” of Denmark, supported economically by the Danish state. Many people see exploitation of mineral deposits as the only viable route to full independence. For generations the farming near Kvanefjeld has been Greenland’s only agricultural industry. This way of life may soon be threatened, as Greenland considers an open pit mine proposed by Greenland Minerals and Energy, an Australian company. The mine would be the fifth-largest uranium mine and second-biggest rare earth extraction operation in the world. Autogena and Portway’s film portrays a community divided on the issue of uranium mining. It explores the difficult decisions and trade-offs faced by a culture seeking to escape a colonial past and define its own identity in a globalised world. Trailer: 


India, 2017,  Director Shri Prakash, Documentary, English, 66 min

The American Southwest—especially the  Indigenous nations of Acoma, Laguna, and the Diné or Navajo Nation—has a long history of 

uranium mining. Once home to a booming economy and proudly called the Uranium Capital of the World, these Indian reservations and poor white communities are now littered with old mines, tailings dams, and other uranium contamination, which is the legacy of this deadly industry. On the Navajo Nation alone, there are more than 500 abandoned uranium mine sites that need to be addressed. This film explores how colonialism has changed face in modern time, as it is played out in a new quest for mineral resources. Contaminated land, water and air have left these communities helpless. Their  efforts to gain justice have failed. Indigenous and poverty-stricken communities who suffered the most are trapped and exploited, as new mining companies continue to disregard the health and environment of these people with the lure of a better economy, jobs and new In Situ Leach uranium mining methods - fracking. Unfortunately, this is the same sad story repeated in other parts of the world including India, but in India it is the government itself undertaking the enterprise and repeating the same degradation in Jadugoda in state of Jharkhand.

Nuclear Waste Land? 

UK / Australia, Director Timothy Large, Production Thomson Reuters Foundation, Documentary, English,14 min.

An Australian government plan to build a nuclear waste dump in the foothills of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia’s biggest mountain range and an iconic tourist attraction, has sparked debate over the nation’s nuclear future that highlights a familiar tension between quick economic gain and long-term custodianship of land occupied by Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years. Traditional landowners call the proposal “cultural genocide” and a desecration of sacred sites rich in archaeological importance to indigenous Adnyamathanha people, while proponents see the promise of jobs and infrastructure. Trailer:



USA, 2018, Director Louis Berry, Documentary, English, 13 min

Tale of a Toxic Nation is the story of a nation rich in resources but weak in political influence. The Navajo Reservation has been left with over 500 abandoned uranium mines, toxic surroundings and an impossible clean up. The story has never been more relevant under an administration threatening to restart uranium mining in the area. -  To follow the story head over to: 


USA, 2017, Directors Daria Bachmann & Anna Anderson, Documentary, English, 80 min.

The Repository is an independent journalistic documentary about the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The goal of this documentary is to tell the history of Yucca Mountain and explain the conflicting views on the proposed repository. In 1987, the U.S. Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act designating Yucca Mountain in Nevada's desert as the nation's sole repository for nuclear waste storage. Officials in Nye County, the host of the proposed nuclear waste repository, support the project, but the majority of Nevada's officials, residents and members of the state's delegation oppose the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. While proponents of Yucca Mountain say that the project could boost the economy of the state of Nevada, many scientific, safety, regulatory and political challenges to the project remain to this day. The state of Nevada filed over 200 technical and legal challenges  including environmental, safety and transportation concerns with the project.  The future of the project now rests on the Trump administration. In January, it allocated $120 million for a restart of the licensing of Yucca Mountain in the budget blueprint. However, the final action on the budget is yet to be taken.

The Safe Side of the Fence 

USA. 2015, Director Tony West, Documentary, English,108 min.

"World War II's Manhattan Project required the refinement of massive amounts of uranium, and St. Louis-based Mallinckrodt Chemical Works took on the job. As a result, the chemical company's employees would become some of the most contaminated nuclear workers in history. This documentary explores the legacy that St. Louis is still coping with, from workers who became ill - to the challenges of dealing with the fallout of creating some of the world's first nuclear waste.The story is not unique to St. Louis, as more than 300 facilities across America would become part of the race to build the bomb, and be forced to deal with many of the same issues. A detailed look into what some of the men and women went through inside these plants, and how decisions made in the past affect us all today.

The Wolverine: The Fight of the James Bay Cree

Canada, 2014, Documentary, Director:  Ernest Webb, Original Language: English, 10 min

This poetic, short documentary film recounts the legend of Kuikuhâchâu (The Wolverine and the Skunk) as a metaphor to the state of Uranium mining in Cree Territory. It uses present-day documentary film footage to cover both the live action of the hearings and to illustrate life on the land through the eyes of one man, Jamie Moses. It also uses abstract visual imagery of drawings and stock footage to tell the story of the Wolverine and the Skunk to the audience. The film intends to both capture imagination and bring awareness to what is at stake environmentally in Eeyou Istchee.

Like the legend itself, from a peaceful beginning the story builds up, and evolves into something tense and “loud” again as we build the conflict and danger of the legend: Wolverine bites Skunk, community triumphs over Skunk. The story ends with the calm serenity and beauty of nature, and a call to protect our land and heritage. Trailer: 

To Dig Or Not To Dig: The Battle For Greenland 

Director Espen Rasmussen, Norway, 2013, 8 min, documentary, Danish & Norwegian, English subtitles 

Greenland's vast natural resources, ranging from oil and gas to uranium, rare earth and iron ore, have remained largely inaccessible under thick layers of ice, making them too difficult and expensive to extract. But with a receding ice sheet and new transport routes opening through the Northwest Passage these prized materials have now placed Greenland at the threshold of a potential commodities boom that could see the territory transformed. On 25 October 2013 the Greenlandic parliament narrowly voted to lift a 25 year ban on the mining of uranium which it inherited from Denmark, its former colonial power. The short film ”To Dig or Not to Dig” tells the story about the small town of Narsaq in South Greenland, which is in the centre of the global battle for minerals. The Australian mining consortium Greenland Minerals and Energy is doing what they can to start digging for deposits of rare earth, used in mobile phones, aircraft engines, telescopes and other high tech devices, in the Kvanefjeld mountains close to the town. Espen Rasmussen visited Greenland to meet both sides of the debate.

Too Precious to Mine   

USA, 2017, Director Justin Clifton, Documentary, English, 10 min, Trailer:

The Havasupai Tribe depends on the blue-green waters that emerge in the Grand Canyon for drinking water. But now, uranium mining on the canyon’s rims threatens the tribe’s existence and its way of life. A 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims around the Grand Canyon is at risk of being overturned by the Trump administration. The Grand Canyon is an irreplaceable natural treasure that draws over 5.5 million visitors to the park each year. Yet, irresponsibly operated uranium mines located on federal public land just miles from the North and South Rims threaten to permanently pollute the Grand Canyon landscape and the greater Colorado River.  „The Grand Canyon is the last place on Earth we should mine uranium.“ 

Uranium: West Australia Under Threat

Australia, Director & Producer, West Australia Nuclear Free Alliance, Animation, English, 2,21 min.

The focus of this film is the endangered species that are under threat at each of the four proposed uranium mines in West Australia. For many years we have talked about the problems of the nuclear industry, the threats to communities and water. The threat of extinction of rare and threatened species has become more apparent and with the help of local artists we wanted to show some of the unique species in WA that are under threat from uranium mining.



Festival Supporter
Current Festival supporters, partners and co-organizers of the Uranium Film Festival in the American Southwest are the New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute and the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE).  The Uranium Film Festival is only made possible with financial support from individual donors and sponsors. The festival welcomes any donation and partnership. Join us. Be our suppoert and donate to the festival.
Contact and film entry address
International Uranium Film Festival 
Rua Monte Alegre 356 / 301
Santa Teresa / Rio de Janeiro / RJ 
CEP 20240-195 / Brazil
PHONE: (0055) (21) 2507 6704 
Festival founders and directors
Marcia Gomes de Oliveira 
Norbert G. Suchanek
Draft of the Window Rock International Uranium Film Festival 2018 Poster by Klee Benally - Diné (Navajo) musician, traditional dancer, filmmaker & indigenous anarchist.


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