The Winners of Rio 2023

Press Release, Rio de Janeiro, 30.05.2023

The Winners of Rio 2023 - 12th International Uranium Film Festival of Rio de Janeiro Highlighted Nuclear Risks & Disasters. The three top awards go to Sweden, USA and Serbia. 

„It's always difficult to determine the festival winners. But this year it was especially difficult. Each of the selected films, dealing with the different aspects of nuclear industry and nuclear war, was of good quality or of great importance and moved the audience," said festival executive director Márcia Gomes de Oliveira during the award ceremony in the Cinematheque of the Modern Art Museum (MAM Rio).

The Best 1st Feature Documentary Award goes to Julian Vogel from Sweden for his film „Inter-Continental Bunker Mission - I.C.B.M“. He received the Award from the hands of the Honorary Consul General of Sweden in Rio, Jan Lomholdt. „I would like to congratulate Marcia and Norbert and the whole Uranium Film Festival team for organizing this important and amazing event", emphasized the Consul.

 Jan Lomholdt: "It takes many hands and efforts to make such a week and final night to happen. `No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul´, said Ingmar Bergman.The Uranium Film Festival has may be never been more actual. We are in the middle of an energy transition but also in a security situation that unfortunately is extremely sad, scary and horrible on all levels. Films and documentaries have always been an important part of understanding the stories told through the Lens of a camera. It’s one of the most important `weapons´of free world speech. I want personally to thank you for the teachings it has brought me and I am sure all of you.“

Inter-Continental Bunker Mission is a documentary with a sense of humour on fallout shelters, government survival plans and self-made basement bunkers to survive a nuclear apocalypse. „Julian Vogel has put together a brilliant film that is as playful as it is timely. The form and the content of this wonderful film are in harmony with its subject matter and message“, said festival judge, filmmaker and film scholar Miguel Silveira. Trailer:

The Best Investigative Documentary Award went to Heidi Hutner for here amazing film „Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island“, represented by the Special Guest from Los Angeles, Libbe HaLevy, producer of the Radio Podcast Nuclear Hotseat. „Radioactive“ explores the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown - the worst commercial nuclear accident in US history - through a feminist lens and features several women activists including famous actor Jane Fonda. „Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island has the potential of helping to reopen a case that had no closure. The focus on the women's decades-long David vs Goliath fight against a seemingly insurmountable enemy brings a fundamental element of justice to the lives of the people involved, the kind of justice they may never find through the legal system“, justifies the festival jury. Trailer

The Best Documentary Feature Award was given to the new US production „Downwind“ by Mark Shapiro and Douglas Brian Miller.  This documentary on "Downwinders" affected by the hundreds of atomic bomb test explosions in Nevada and nuclear-technology related topics features stars and activists like Martin Sheen, Claudia Peterson, Ian Zabarte, Patrick Wayne, Mary Dickson, Lewis Black, Joseph Musso and Michael Douglas. Special Guest, Filmmaker and Producer Missy Hernandez from Chicago received the Award in the Name of the Downwind directors. Mark Shapiro & Douglas Brian Miller Award Acceptance Speech! 

 Miguel Silveira: „Downwind has Hollywood star power, slick production value, as well as the historical and scientific accuracy required for any film to be the big winner of the Uranium Film Festival 2023“, said festival judge, filmmaker and film scholar Miguel Silveira. „Downwind is a solid piece, the one with the largest reach and the potential for communicating the issues we all fight against to the largest number of people. It's a very important film that helps bring back the debate about nuclear energy - and war - to the mainstream.“ Trailer:

The Best Documentary Short Film Award was given to „Small and Big“ by Serbian director Zelimir Gvardiol. Depleted Uranium activist and scholar Damacio A. Lopez from New Mexico received the Award in the name of the director. „This documentary show us the consequences of the wide spread use of depleted uranium ammunition by the NATO in Serbia und the victims as we have not seen it before. Very moving, very authentic“, said Damacio Lopez.

Photo: General Consul of Spain in Rio, Ángel Vázquez Díaz de Tuesta and Festival director Márcia Gomes de Oliveira 
Photographer: Felipe Corrêa Ascom Faetec / Copyright

Honorable Mentions

The feature documentary „Sew to Say“ by Spanish director Rakel Aguirre and UK producer Sebastián Thomas from Bristol received one of the festival’s Honorable Mentions. General Consul of Spain in Rio, Ángel Vázquez Díaz de Tuesta, received the award in the Name of Rakel. Her film reviews the women-only peace camp on Greenham Common to oppose nuclear weapons, the longest feminist protest in history. Trailer:

Further Honorable Mentions were given to „A Body in Fukushima“ by Director Eiko Otake (Japan/United States), „How Far From Ground Zero“ by Brian Cowden (United States), „Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes“ by James Jones (UK), „Tortoise Under The Earth (Dharti Latar Re Horo)“ by Shishir Jha (India) and „Neutron Bomb“ by Peter Kuran (United States).

Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award

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, 2023, it goes to a special personality and citizen of Los Angeles. The International Uranium Film Festival Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award 2023 was given to Libbe HaLevy, producer and host of the weekly podcast/radio show Nuclear Hotseat ( who recently received the Nuclear-Free Future Award.  „Since 2011, Libbe HaLevy has done a tremendous and wonderful job enabling numerous nuclear activists, filmmakers and scientists to share their thoughts and opinions with hundreds of thousands of radio listeners around the world“, said festival co-director and founder Norbert G. Suchanek. 

Photo: Festival director Márcia Gomes de Oliveira and Award winner Libbe HaLevy 
Photographer: Felipe Corrêa Ascom Faetec / Copyright

About the Festival

The 2010 founded International Uranium Film Festival (IUFF) is dedicated to all nuclear issues and the whole nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining to nuclear waste, from nuclear war to nuclear accidents. Over the past 12 years, Uranium Film Festivals have not only been held in Rio, but also in several other countries and cities such as Berlin, New Delhi, New York, Washington DC, Window Rock and Santa Fe. Since 2016, when the International Uranium Film Festival was hosted in partnership with Hollywood star Kat Kramer at the famous Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles it is also known as Atomic Age Cinema Fest. 
The 12th 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“ with Jean-Paul Belmondo. The movie was directed by Philippe de Broca and filmed exactly 60 ago in 1963.

About the Festival Award / Trophy

The best and most important films of the year receive the Uranium Film Festival Award and Honorable Mentions. The Award or trophy is a work of art made by Brazilian artist Getúlio Damado, who lives and works in the Santa Teresa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, where the inaugural Uranium Film Festival was held in 2011. Getúlio crafts the trophy from the trash found on the streets of Santa Teresa. He also uses old, unfunctional watches to commemorate the first atomic bomb attac on a city: Hiroshima. The clocks in Hiroshima stopped at exactly 8:15 a.m. when the atomic bomb went off on August 6, 1945.

Top photo: Award winning Filmmaker Julian Vogel and Honorary Consul General of Sweden
Photographer: Felipe Corrêa Ascom Faetec / Copyright

Contact / Photos
International Uranium Film Festival
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We are grateful for every publication!
All the best from Rio
Norbert G. Suchanek / Márcia Gomes de Oliveira
International Uranium Film Festival Founders & Directors

We thank the filmmakers and our volunteers, partners and supporters. 
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