The International Uranium Film Festival has selected the first films for its 13th edition at Rio de Janeiro's famous Modern Art Museum (MAM Rio) Cinematheque, May 25 to June 1, 2024.
USA, 2023, Director Jan Haaken, Documentary, 47 min, English
As pressure mounts in the US to meet net zero carbon goals, the nuclear power industry makes its case for a nuclear “ renaissance” to solve the climate crisis. In place of the highly costly reactors that have been shut down across many regions of the country, investors began in the early 21st century to promote small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) as a technological solution. ATOMIC BAMBOOZLE follows anti-nuclear activist Lloyd Marbet and attorneys Greg Kafoury and Lauren Goldberg as they draw lessons from the decades-long fight to shut down the Trojan Nuclear Power plant in Oregon and expose current campaigns to revive the industry. Climate activist Cathy Sampson-Kruse (Waluulapum member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation) points to the buried legacy of atomic weapons production and nuclear power generation at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State and to its devastating impacts on tribal communities. University of British Columbia professor M. V. Ramana, a physicist and internationally recognized scholar on nuclear power, traces the history of nuclear power generation from the 1950s to the present and takes up four main problems– costs, accidents, waste and proliferation–and shows how the industry continues to deny or disavow these persisting problems in the much heralded generation of ”new nuclear.” Director Jan Haaken, a psychologist, brings to this history of atomic bamboozling an attentiveness to the psychological ploys of the industry. https://www.atomicbamboozle.com
Jan Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentar filmmaker. From refugee camps, war zones and abortion clinics to drag bars, dairy farms and hip-hop clubs, her documentary films focus on people carrying out stressful jobs on the social margins and in liminal spaces. Her feature films include Queens of Heart: Community Therapists in Drag, Guilty Except for Insanity, Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front Lines, Our Bodies Our Doctors, and the two-part series: Necessity: Oil, Water & Climate Resistance and Necessity: Climate Justice & the Thin Green Line.
USA, 2023, Director Adam Jonas Horowitz, mockumentary, 54 min, English
ATOMIC GODS is a black-comedy, pseudo-documentary film that reveals for the first time the secret, unknown (and perhaps even forbidden), 'Creation Myths of the Bomb'. It centers on the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the birth of the Atomic Bomb; and also features God (in a special guest appearance), Adam and Eve, Prometheus, King Kong, Charleton Heston, and Moby Dick. The film also reveals previously unknown footage of the 'Atomic Gods' themselves in a daring prison escape from Alcatraz. The film navigates a dream world between Fact and Myth; combining the Real, with the Unreal, the Surreal, and the Hyperreal; along with new cartoons, and extremely rare, previously unseen, "Actual Footage." A biting satire that is at once both historical and futuristic, this dark and hilarious story serves as a post-nuclear fairy tale.
Adam Jonas Horowitz is a sculptor, performer, public installation artist, and filmmaker of fiction and documentary films, unified by their effort to confront and contemplate spicy dilemmas of human rights and the environment in fresh, challenging ways. A graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, he produced the PBS funded, internationally acclaimed feature documentary film Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1. He also created a satiric, megalithic “anti-monument” to consumer society: the monumental public art installation Fridgehenge; a full-scale pagan temple of kitchen appliances built by loin-clothed Sisyphean slaves on the site of a former solid waste landfill in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is currently producing a documentary film about the U.S. orchestrated cover-up of WWII Japanese war crimes featuring several former "Comfort Women" survivors. In the public art realm, he is in the process of creating PlasticHenge, a monumental public art installation and sculptural sequel to Fridgehenge. Also in production is his new satiric, fictional film series about advanced technology and human hubris Atomic Gods: Creation Myths of the Bomb, that has been partially funded by 516 Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation. https://artistsagainstthebomb.org/AdamJonasHorowitz
Canada, 2024, Director Michele Hozer, Producer Bernie Finkelstein, Documentary, 90 min, English.
Most Canadians do not know the full extent of their country’s role in the Manhattan Project. In 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt and King met in Quebec City to sign an agreement that set in motion a top secret plan to build with world’s first nuclear weapon! Two years later, the world officially entered the atomic age, when the first atomic bomb was detonated in the New Mexican desert. Canada was a major player in that historical event but shockingly, seventy five years later, a small town in Canada is still dealing with the fallout of that very first, Atomic Reaction!
Director Michèle Hozer, a two-time Gemini award-winning documentary editor, has been working in the Canadian film industry since 1987. She started her career at The National Film Board of Canada, working first in production, and then as an editor. She received her first Gemini in 2000 for The Nature of Things on their millennium special Race for the Future. "Atomic Reaction reveals the backdrop of the top-secret Manhattan Project, as Churchill, Roosevelt and King agree at a meeting in Quebec City, to try and win WWII by building an atomic bomb."
USA, 2024, Directors and Producers; Mark Mori and Susan J. Robinson, 55 min, documentary, English
Academy Award nominated Building Bombs, in a new 4k film restoration, revisits the glory days of the atomic age, its legacy of nuclear weapons waste, and its troubling questions still unanswered. Insider stories and rare archival footage reveal the inner workings of one of the world’s largest nuclear bomb plants and its toll on the environment and human hearts. Of historical interest, the film sparked a movement by ordinary people and rock stars that changed U.S. national policy. With the abandonment of nuclear treaties by the world’s superpowers and call for the use of nuclear weapons, Building Bombs provides key insights and impetus to tackle these issues for audiences today.
Mark Mori and Susan J. Robinson are Academy Award nominated documentary filmmakers. Mark is an Emmy Award winning television producer, President of Single Spark Pictures, and past Chair of the Documentary Committee of the Producers Guild of America. He has written and directed documentaries, reality series, and specials for broadcast and cable channels including Fox TV, HBO, Showtime, BBC, PBS, Frontline, Discovery, A&E, Bravo, MSNBC, National Geographic, and others. Susan has produced, directed, and written for broadcast, cable, and government media and is an expert in public health, risk communication, and community engagement. She specializes in long- and short-form environmental and social issue documentaries, in traditional and digital media forms.
Ireland, 2020, Director & Producer Christian Craughwell, Documentary, 5 min, English.
The film is Based on Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich's 'Chernobyl Prayer’.
Christian Craughwell living in the west of Ireland. His work has been screened at festivals in Ireland and the US and has also been featured as part of the BBC4 series 'The Digital Human'.
USA, 2022, Director: Hadley Austin, Producer: Nevo Shinaar. Cinematographer: Yoni Goldstein, Impact Producer: Emma Robbins, Co-Writer: Tommy Rock, Documentary, 95 min, English, Navajo
DEMON MINERAL is a new documentary about life in the radioactive desert of the Navajo Reservation in the American Southwest. Spanning a landscape perforated by uranium mines, the film follows a group of indigenous scientists, engineers, and activists as they work to secure a vital living space in the Navajo Nation. It is an anti-Western exploring the legacy of uranium mining in Diné Bikeyah, the sacred homelands of the Navajo. There, 523 unremediated mines scatter across an area the size of West Virginia.
Water, air, traditions, and livelihoods have been threatened by contamination for the last four generations. Some Diné adhere to the tenets in the following origin story: there is a demon who lives in the earth. He is content enough there, and will bother no-one unless disturbed, having been laid there by a formidable warrior. Uranium, for millions of years to come, is perhaps this demon made real.
Hadley Austin is a writer, filmmaker, photographer, researcher, and producer. She is, alongside Yoni Goldstein, one half of Formidable Entities. Hadley’s work as a writer, documentarian, and artist is rooted in historical research, social justice, and the natural world. Everything from dogsled races to dance performances.
Scotland/Norway, 2023, Director Gregor Douglas Sinclair, Producer: Matthew Smith, Key Cast: Øivind Tangstad, Documentary, Short, 20 minutes, Language: English, Norwegian
Øivind Tangstad grew up on the slopes of the Hardangervidda, Europe's highest plateau and one of its greatest wildernesses. He took inspiration from one of the most thrilling and heroic adventure stories of the modern era, where in the winter of early 1943, 12 Norwegian Resistance members skied over 600km across the plateau to prevent the creation of an atomic bomb.
To mark the 80th anniversary of this astounding tale, which has become folklore in Norway, Øivind is leading an international expeditionary team to retrace their footsteps, from the assault on the Rjukan valley, across Europe’s wildest plateau, and over the Swedish border hundreds of kilometres away. ‘Hardangerfolk’ is a documentary which shows how, at a time when war and oppression are once again gripping Europe, this inspirational story is more relevant than it has ever been.
Sinclair: "As director for award-winning production house Scotica, I lead teams creating environmental, adventure and ethical films, in Scotland and all over the world. We work on projects which promote the preservation and enjoyment of wild spaces.!
USA, 2023, Director and Producer: Joe Tripician, Documentary, 19 minutes 27 seconds, English
A filmmaker journeys with his parents to the secret city in East Tennessee where they were employed to help create the first atomic bombs - with rarely seen historical footage. Throughout the war, Oak Ridge was protected by guarded gates, and workers at the plants were sworn to secrecy. Few people in town were aware that the military was pursuing an atomic bomb onsite; they only knew information relevant to their specific job duties. Under orders from General Groves, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased 59,000 acres of land along the Clinch River. Originally known as Site X or Clinton Engineer Works, the nuclear site was eventually renamed Oak Ridge. With its promise of jobs, the new city drew in tens of thousands of families, becoming the fifth-largest city in Tennessee. https://www.honeymooninoakridge.com
Joe Tripician is an Emmy award-winning Producer/Writer/Director, a Playwright, Performer, and a Published Author. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/891858764?share=copy
USA, 2023, Director/Producer: Robert E. Frye, Composer: Hayes Greenfield, Documentary, English, 80 min.
On the 16th of July 1945 at 5:26 am, in southern New Mexico, the test explosion of “Trinity”, marked the beginning of the Nuclear Age, followed just three weeks later by two atomic bombs “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing over 200,000 human beings, leaving a scar on humanity. Since the very beginning of the nuclear age, some of the scientists who created the nuclear bomb, called for its abolition. William Johnston, a Catholic priest in Japan, summed up what is the ongoing reality “In short, a titanic struggle is raging in the collective unconscious of humanity”. The goal of this documentary is to tell that story in narrative form, with the voices of those involved in dealing with this ongoing struggle. It is not just about the continuing presence of the nuclear weapon held in the arsenals of nine nations, which now includes the modernization of these powerful tools of war, making the weapons even more dangerous.
Robert E. Frye is an Emmy award-winning producer of network news programs and independent documentaries for over five decades. Starting in the ’60s the Emmy and Peabody Award winner worked in New York City; Toronto; Washington, D.C.and London. His credits at ABC News include Executive Producer of “Good Morning America” and “ABC World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings; senior Producer at CBC’s Weekend, and as an independent producer of several films for public television which include “In My Lifetime” At the age of 81, Frye said, the obligation of his generation is to tell the story of nuclear weapons, to make clear the indescribable damage they have caused and their potential to end life on the planet entirely.
Canada, 2023, Director, writer and producer: Andrew Nisker, Documentary, Feature, 1 hour 30 minutes, English
At the height of the Cold War, the US detonated 23 nuclear weapons over the Bikini Atoll, for a total of 67 in the Marshall Islands, the consequences of which reverberate down through generations. "NUKED" is a timely and compelling new feature documentary that tells the human story of the nuclear arms race, tracing a people’s ongoing 74 year struggle to survive from the first detonation in 1946 to the present day US as their ongoing quest for justice takes on extra urgency with climate change posing a new and imminent existential threat. Through unparalleled access to the people of Bikini and with a wealth of recently de-classified, never seen before footage from the US Army and Airforce, "NUKED" weaves a haunting tale that resurrects contemporary islanders’ voices. It juxtaposes these with the full, awesome fury of the test detonations. "NUKED" starkly contrasts the official record with the lived experience of the Bikinians themselves, serving as an important counterpoint to this summer’s Oppenheimer.
Andrew Nisker: “I make films to inspire people to take action and revolutionize the way we treat the environment and ourselves. Over the last ten years I’ve written, directed, and produced almost a dozen feature documentaries with a focus on social-environmental issues. I’ve made a bunch of appearances in the media to share the message, featured on CBC News, MTV, and in pieces by The Atlantic, Now Magazine, POV Magazine, The Beam, Samaritan Magazine, and The Hollywood Reporter. In 2014, I was even lucky enough to get invited to hold my own TEDx Talk at the University of Toronto to share my efforts in “making the invisible visible.” https://takeactionfilms.com/
USA/Japan, 2023, Director and Producer Hideaki Ito, Assistant Producers: Rieko Tomomatsu, Naomi Sakai, Sachiko Kamakura, Chieko Watanabe, Narrator: Alec Baldwin, Documentary, English 76 min.
In 2001, baby teeth were found in the Tyson Valley in St. Louis. They were part of 320,000 baby teeth collected for a project half-a-century earlier. Few people now know that the continental US is radioactive. The US has conducted more than 100 atmospheric nuclear tests at home and more than 100 in the Pacific. Ironically, vast amounts of radioactive material generated by the nuclear tests ended up on U.S. soil. The enormous amount of radioactive material produced by the nuclear explosions was carried by the wind across the continent, where it fell to the ground in rain and snow, contaminating pastures, vegetables and water. Everywhere, there were reports of radioactive contamination. Milk was a special source of concern, given that it was considered an essential source of nutrition for children. Infants, in particular, are extremely susceptible to radiation. Milk from cows feeding on contaminated pastures contained plentiful amounts of Strontium 90. The strontium entered children's bodies, stayed in their bones, and emitted radiation that attacked their cells. Mothers' nerves were strained to the breaking point. At that point, scientists and mothers in St. Louis launched an ambitious project to measure Strontium 90 in baby teeth to find out if their children were being exposed. The film tells the story of the unknown radioactive contamination of the United States. Written, directed, filmed, edited and produced by Hideaki Ito with the support of a grant from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan.
Hideaki Ito: "As a TV director, I have been following this theme since 2004. My story started with irradiated Japanese fishermen. More than 100 atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean were conducted in tuna fishing zones. Not less than 200,000 fishermen operating in those waters were severely affected and many have died. We looked for survivors and the bereaved families to interview. I had to face their resistance to talk about their experiences. They wanted to protect their livelihoods – the ability to continue to fish for tuna and sell them, and to avoid discrimination because of being irradiated. So slowly my work as a TV director has also turned into that of a researcher and then of an activist. In the process, I discovered that radiation from nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean had contaminated not only the islands there, but also the American continent and the Japanese archipelago. In the future, I am hoping to build a network of researchers and journalists around the world to tackle the problem of radiation fallout together. However, the project members and I are not aiming to reach only researchers and journalists. We would like to create a network of people interested in the issue of radiation exposure and severe environmental contamination. In reading this website, we hope that you could join this project."
Hideaki Ito was born in 1960, in Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Documentary filmmaker and television director. Began working on artistic film production in the 1990s. Ito’s films have been shown at international film festivals, including the Berlin Music Video Awards and the Vancouver International Film Festival. In 2004, Ito learned that more than 200,000 Japanese tuna fishermen had been exposed to radiation from the Pacific nuclear tests. Since then, he has been producing videos on the subject almost every year.
USA, 2023, Directed by James Heddle, Mary Beth Brangan and Morgan Peterson, and produced by Mary Beth Brangan, production: EON - The Ecological Options Network, documentary, 100 min, english
A timely and urgent story with global implications. Filmed over 12 years, the documentary dramatically chronicles how Southern California residents came together to force the shutdown of an aging nuclear power plant only to be confronted by an alarming reality: tons of nuclear waste left near a popular beach, only 100 feet from the rising sea, that — with radioactivity lasting millions of years—menaces present and future generations. It features nuclear experts Donna Gilmore, Dan Hirsch, Gordon Edwards, as well as activists Karen Hadden, Rose Gardner, Torgen Johnson and Gary and Laurie Headrick. The film portrays San Onofre as a microcosm of this national problem - the mismanagement of lethal radioactive waste. This is a syndrome shared by all 55 nuclear reactor sites across the United States. SOS spotlights the essential role citizens must play to ensure public safety is the top priority. Told largely from the perspective of five main characters, the film shows how they mobilize their communities as they become experts on the issues and tactically wiser in the face of adversity. SOS is a critical warning that America's 55 nuclear power plants, each with their own tons of intensely radioactive waste lasting millennia — in inadequate temporary containers with no plans to repair them — are putting their local communities and national security at grave risk.
James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan, life and work partners, are award-winning documentary video and radio producers, educators, and organizers. They co-direct EON, the Ecological Options Network, producing documentaries, video reports, and blogs on issues, activists, and organizations globally working for solutions to planetary challenges. In the last three decades, Brangan and Heddle’s productions have been broadcast and toured nationally and internationally; aired in Congress, the United Nations, on PBS, ABC, CNN, and cable; and used in parliaments, universities, libraries, and by citizens’ organizations and NGO’s worldwide. Their work has been honored at the Sundance, American, San Francisco Asian-American, Dallas, Hawaii International, and Margaret Mead Film Festivals, among others.
France/French Polynesia, 2023, Director Suliane Favennec, Producer Valérie Montmartin, Documentary, 56 min, Original Language: French, Tahitian with English subtitles.
From 1950 to 1990, France, the United-States and the United Kingdom dropped hundreds of nuclear bombs on the Pacific islands. At the cost of sacrificing the local populations. Each country plays the clock and hopes for the silent disappearance of the victims of the first generation. But the atom leaves more traces than expected. Genetic abnormalities and pathologies appear in new generations. They fight back and take their destiny in hand.
When will the effects of the bombing stop? What is the future for the new generations? Are the major nuclear countries ready to pay? Driven by their conviction and helped by political and scientific personalities, children and grandchildren of the atom respond against these great nations.
Suliane Favennec is an independent photojournalist. Humans are always at the heart of his reports. Suliane lives between the Pacific and France.
USA/Vanuatu, 2023, Director Philippe Carillo, Documentary, 52 min, English.
Unveiling the Truth: The Untold Story of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and the terrible facts about nuclear energy exposed. Prepare to witness the untold story behind the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and its catastrophic impact on Japan and the world. In this compelling film directed by award-winning filmmaker, Philippe Carillo. It delves deep into the hidden horrors and long-lasting consequences of this preventable environmental tragedy, and exposes the vital information deliberately suppressed by the media and the Japanese government.
The journey uncovers a web of deceit and negligence that have been kept under wraps from society at large. However, through the relentless efforts of dedicated whistle-blowers, scientists and medical experts, the film director brings to light the crucial facts that have remained concealed for far too long. This powerful and hard-hitting documentary presents a mosaic of narratives, blending first-hand accounts from witnesses with insights from experts who understand nuclear radiation and its dangers. “The Fukushima Disaster - The Hidden Side of the Story" is an eye-opening and poignant exploration of a dark chapter in human history. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of transparency, accountability, and global cooperation to opt out of the need for nuclear energy in order to prevent such environmental catastrophes from ever happening again in the future. Featuring: Nobel Prize Nominee Dr. Helen Calicott, Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gundersen, Former Japan Time Journalist Yoichi Shimatsu, Former Nuclear Industry Spokesperson Maggie Gundersen, Professor John Keane, Dr. Dan Harper, Former NASA Nuclear Scientist Randall Mielke, Yumi Kikuchi, Former Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Member of Parliament of Vanuatu Honorable Andrew Napuat.
Philippe is a French citizen currently living in the Vanuatu archipelago. He has worked on several major documentary projects for the BBC, 20th Century Fox, and French National TV, and has worked on independent film productions as a post-production sound engineer and sound designer. In 2004 he moved to Hollywood and created a successful event and film production company. In 2013 he made his first feature documentary, Inside the Garbage of the World, which won 3 awards. The film, distributed worldwide, provoked a wave of action regarding plastic pollution. Based in Vanuatu since 2017, Philippe has now made more than 150 short films. In 2022, he decided to finish his feature film about Fukushima, which started in 2016, due to the emergency of the situation.
In 1998, the town of Jadugoda also called the Land of Magic, is at India’s forefront for mining Uranium. The economic boost in India is catalyzing the nation’s dream to establish its name in the list of the world’s most powerful nuclear forces. However, due to this, Jadugoda is being continuously poisoned by the uranium mining dump. Aloof from the desire for nuclear power and geo-political warfare, the innocent and poor tribals in the town who aim to live a simple livelihood are suffering from these radiations daily. Men are getting scarred and crippled while women are giving birth to stillborn and disabled children. Many women are suffering from infertility too. As a result of this, families from nearby towns and villages are not willing to get their kids married to any person in this village, especially that to women. In these unfortunate times, Dama, a 45-year-old farmer, who resides in the indigenous village Dungridih dreams of getting his only daughter, Rupni married. He is elated that he has received a marriage proposal from a prosperous family for his daughter but in the 24 hours prior to their visit to his house, his anxiousness increases with every passing minute as his biggest concern is to keep the condition of the village hidden from them.
Satish Munda, a resident of Ramgarh district in Jharkhand, has achieved the first position in the Tata Steel Foundation National Film Competition with his film “Jaduguda.”
Germany, 2023, Director and Producer: Moritz Enders, Documentary, 26 minutes, Original Language: Serbian / German, Subtitled Language(s): English, Trailer
During the war in Kosovo against the former Yugoslavia, NATO used tons of uranium ammunition. A cancer epidemic has been raging there ever since. Lawyer Srdjan Aleksic is not prepared to accept this - and wants to sue the military alliance. Does he stand a chance in his fight for justice? In the documentary, director Enders accompanies the lawyer Srdan Aleksić, whose own family was affected by the consequences of the use of depleted uranium weapons during the Yugoslavian war in 1999, and who is currently fighting several lawsuits. Dr Aleksić is using legal means to help the numerous victims of the NATO bombings receive material compensation for the harm that was done to them. More Info.
Moritz Enders: Berlin director, filmmaker, and investigative journalist
Chile, 2023, Director: Francisca Silva Bravo, Co-Director and Writer: Carole Risler, Producer: Alessandra Cristina, documentary, 1 hour 11 minutes, English, French, Spanish
It is the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear test in indigenous Australian territory and the aboriginal communities call on activists from all over the world to carry out a 200 km anti-nuclear walk through the desert. Among them, the directors of this documentary join to record this walk, which seeks to end the extraction of uranium, the mineral with which atomic bombs are produced. What attitude will we take as humanity in the face of the possibility of creation and destruction?
Francisca Silva Bravo is an independent documentary maker from Chile. "Walkatjurra: Our actions will never stop", is a 2023 documentary co-directed by the French filmmaker Carole Risler. This was shot in some Australian aboriginal territories, where uranium is mined. Walkatjurra is an invitation from the directors to meditate on a more non-violent culture to protect life and its evolution.Contact us for any question or suggestion ...
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