Press Release: A radiant film festival at the Cinemateca do MAM Rio
International Uranium Film Festival 2022 Awards go to Canada, France, Poland, Spain, South Korea, USA
„Rio de Janeiro’s 11th International Uranium Film Festival was a brilliant event and it must go on.“ That was the general opinion of the Audience and of Spanish Filmmaker Jaime García Parra at the Modern Art Museum Cinema. Jaime García Parra’s short film comedy „January 66“ on the Atomic bomb accident of Palomares, that happend in the south of Spain in January 1966 won the Festival’s Best Fiction Short Film Award.
The Best Documentary Feature Award was given to two productions from France and USA. OUR FRIEND THE ATOM: THE AGE OF RADIOACTIVITY by Kenichi Watanabe and TELEVISION EVENT by Jeff Daniels. „TELEVISION EVENT chronicles not only the making of the landmark TV film THE DAY AFTER, but what it took to get it made, how it impacted international politics, and motivated a generation to oppose nuclear war and weapons. Professionally shot and produced, Television Event has its own story to tell while pointing at a cornerstone film that many have forgotten“, says festival judge Libbe HaLevy from California. Libbe is an award-winning playwright, book author and producer & host of the Radio show "Nuclear Hotseat“.
In his award statement Japanese Filmmaker Kenichi Watanabe said. „Thank you for awarding my film. I wish this 11th edition of the Uranium Film Festival every success. And I hope that the festival goes on until the end of the nuclear age.“
The Best Documentary Short Award also was given to two equally well done productions: TOXIC NEIGHBOUR by Colin Scheyen from Canada and SEA GYPSIES: THE PLUTONIUM DOME by Nico Edwards from USA. „We have given the Award to Toxic Neighbour „for showing us the long and exhausting journey fighting for the acknowledgement of the health risks of a properly working nuclear power plant in a subtle and respectful way“, says festival Judge Petra Holzer from Turkey. „In turn, Sea Gypsies: The Plutonium Dome, a journey to the mostly forgotten atomic bomb test explosion centres in the Pacific Island, reminds us of the atrocities committed by the atomic bomb nations of this world.An inspirational documentary worthy of the Uranium Film Festival Award.“ Petra Holzer is Visual artist, curator and director of the Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary (BIFED).
"Congratulations on an amazing festival this year! I followed it as much as I could on Social media and wished I could have been there. It truly is an incredible honour to receive such an amazing Award from your festival. Your festival does an amazing job of bringing ideas, conversations, people, and films together. Thank you! I hope my film inspired people to keep fighting the industry and always put love behind your activism." Colin Scheyen
The Best Fiction Feature Film Award of the 11th International Uranium Festival in Rio de Janeiro went to young filmmaker Choi Yang Hyun from South Korea for his nuclear war film „THE BASEMENT (지하실)“. In his acceptance speech Choi Yang Hyun said: „Thank you so much for giving me such a big award for my film that is about the survival of one family in a city hit by a nuclear attack. Watching the war in Ukraine, the first people who suffer are ordinary people. It is the same in Korea I live. South Korea is in a state of conflict between the two Koreas. Like the slogan of this film festival, I look forward to the day when people around the world will be free from these kinds of threats exist on Earth.“
The shining star of the last day of the festival and the award ceremony on Sunday, May 29th at MAM Rio was the brilliant Polish multi-artist Lech Majewski. He presented his film “Valley of the Gods“ (Dolina Bogów) for the first time in Brazil. The audience, including several art and film scholars, were deeply impressed by his film and the beauty of its images. Lech Majewski's film, that was already awarded as Best Feature Fiction Movie at the Uranium Film Festival in Berlin in 2020 now received the festival trophy of the Uranium Film Festival in Rio.
The film screening was also honored by the presence of Poland's ambassador to Brazil, Jakub Skiba, who said: "I would like to express my exceptional satisfaction with the fact that the respected and outstanding Polish director Lech Majewski was awarded at this important event in the Brazilian cinema world. Majewski's works are both visually and philosophically sophisticated. His films, including Valley of the Gods, are dreamlike in nature, referring to the greatest existential fears of each of us. Thanks to their creativity, the viewer can experience a profound act of purification and catharsis. Few films manage to have the same sense of symbolic and archetypal weight".
The festival’s Honorable Mentions were given to TOTEM & ORE by John Mandelberg (Australia), to SAM AND THE PLANT NEXT DOOR by Ömer Sami (Denmark/UK), to MUSTANGS & RENEGADES by James Anaquad Kleinert (USA) and to STALKING CHERNOBYL by Iara Lee (Ukraine/USA/Bulgaria/Slovakia).
Last but not least: Every year the International Uranium Film Festival honors special personalities of the „Atomic Age“ with its Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, 2022, Elsie Mae Begay, the great-great Navajo grandmother from Monument Valley featured in the documentary "The Return of Navajo Boy" by Jeff Spitz received the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award 2022.
The International Uranium Film Festival award ceremony and party was held in the Cinematheque and Gardens of Rio`s Modern Art Museum, a place with a curious movie history that just a few people know. It was the location of the key scenes of the famous film „That Man from Rio (L’Homme de Rio)“, directed by Philippe de Broca in 1964, with Jean-Paul Belmondo. „A proverb says, a picture is worth a thousand words. And movies are 24 pictures per second. Well-made films are moving and therefore they can change people and the world. Our festival is dedicated to these films,” says festival director Norbert G. Suchanek. "Philippe de Broca's 'That Man from Rio' is such a moving film from the 1960s, at least it moved me and aroused my interest, my passion for Brazil and Rio de Janeiro."
The 11th Rio de Janeiro Internatioal Uranium Film Festival, the Atomic Age Film Festival is over. However, further Uranium Film Festival screenings will happen still this year in Denmark in Århus (Øst for Paradis), June 13, in Norway in Bergen (Cinemateket Bergen), August 24 to 25, and in Germany in Berlin, 6 to 13 October.Rio Festival Program https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/en/rio-at-mam-2022 Meet the Uranium Film Festival Judges 2022 https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/en/judges-2022-0 Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/en/iuff-lifetime-achievement-award-2022
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