Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro 2015 - Program July 16/17
Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro 2015 - Program July 16/17

Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro 2015 - Program July 16/17

On July 16, 1945, Los Alamos scientists exploded the first atomic bomb at the so called Trinity site, near the village Alamogordo. "We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent...  Now I am become death: the destroyer of worlds", said Julius Robert Oppenheimer recalling that first atomic bomb test. Now 70 Years later, on July 16, 2015, starts the 5th International Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro in the Cinemateque of Rio's Modern Art Museum (MAM). Because of administrative reasons it is this year just a two day program in July, but further festival screenings in Rio are planned in September.

5th International Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro, July 16 & 17, 2015

Venue: Cinemateque of Modern Art Museum (MAM Rio), Parque do Flamengo, www.mamrio.org.br

Thursday, July 16th / 15.00 - Atomic Bomb Film Session 

Hiroshima Hahatachi no Inori / Hiroshima: A Mother's Prayer

Japan 1990, 30 min, Director Motoo Ogasawara, Producer: Nihon Eiga Shinsha, Documentary in Portuguese

70 years ago, the USA A-bombed Hiroshima leaving about 140,000 people dead in its blaze. August 6, 1945 saw the largest number of deaths in a single day in a man-made disaster in history. "Hiroshima: A Mother’s Prayer" calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons and notes the importance of peace from mothers’ points of view in Hiroshima at the time of the A-bombing. The film also shows the statue of ‘Sadako Sasaki holding the golden crane’ erected in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Sadako, a two-year-old girl, was thrown out of her window in the nuclear explosion. Ten years later, she died of blood cancer caused by the 1945 radiation.

We thank the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for providing the film. Website: http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/frame/Virtual_e/tour_e/guide2_6.html

NUCLEAR SAVAGE: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1

USA, 2012, 87 min, Director Adam Jonas Horowitz, Documentary, English, Spanish subtitles. www.vimeo.com/ondemand/28826  

The term "savage" is used to refer to people from primitive cultures, but this documentary shows how savagery reaches new levels with the advent of advanced technology. In the 1950's, the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, vaporising islands and exposing entire populations to fallout. The people of Rongelap received near fatal doses of radiation from one of these tests, and were then moved to a highly contaminated island to serve as guinea pigs to test the affects of radiation on humans for almost 30 years, where they suffered from recurring cancers and birth defects that have affected multiple generations. 

Nuclear Savage is a heartbreaking and intimate ethnographic portrait of Pacific Islanders struggling for dignity and survival after decades of intentional radiation poisoning at the hands of the American government. Relying on recently declassified U.S. government documents, devastating survivor testimony, and incredible unseen archival footage, this untold and true detective story reveals how U.S. scientists turned a Pacific paradise into a radioactive hell.

Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1. seeks to uncover tragedy but is currently being censored by PBS which has cancelled all three of its scheduled broadcasts of the film. Nevertheless Nuclear Savage is winner of five top international Festival Awards, in Paris, Mexico City, Tahiti, Chicago and in Rio de Janeiro where it received the Uranium Film Festival's YELLOW OSCAR in 2013.

Adam Jonas Horowitz shot his first film in the Marshall Islands in 1986, and was shocked by what he found there, in this former American military colony.  Radioactive coconuts, leaking nuclear waste repositories, and densely populated slums. Twenty years later, Adam returned to these islands to make this award winning, shocking political and cultural documentary 'Nuclear Savage'.  The film: www.nuclearsavage.com

17.00 - Atomic Art and Animated Film Session

11:02 de 1945 Retratos de Nagasaki

Brazil/Argentina, 2014, 31 min, Director Roberto Fernández, Documentary, Portuguese, Producer  O Movimento Falso Filmes, www.omovimentofalso.blogspot.com.br

It happened on August 9th in 1945. It is 11:02 o clock in the morning. The U.S.A dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. Tens of thousands of civilians died a horror full death. Some survived. And some of these survivors - called Hibakusha - came to live in Brazil. Roberto Fernández tells their stories.  Trailer: https://vimeo.com/93386543


USA, 2011, 6 min, Director and Producer: Nathan Meltz. Animation/Experimental, English. https://vimeo.com/51787061

The film remakes a section of the 1983 post-nuclear made-for- TV movie 'The Day After', retelling the story of atomic devastation in a Dada collage-meets-stop-animation style. The film showed atomic bombs reducing humans and animals to skeletons, and a city was blown to rubble.

Nathan Meltz (Master of Fine Arts, State University of New York at Albany) uses collage, printmaking, and animation to comment on the infiltration of technology into every facet of life, from politics and food, to family and war. He is the founder and curator of the East Coast National Screenprint Biennial hosted in Upstate New York. http://nathanmeltz.com 


México, 2013-2014, 8 min, Director Adrian Regnier Chavez, Video Art, English subtitles, http://adrianregnier.com

„H.“ is a hybrid piece that integrates experimental stop motion animation, motion graphics, 3D animation and other resources to illustrate a clear reality: the international arms race as a phenomenon on the brink of detonation. With more than 30,000 atomic bombs on the face of Earth, together they have enough critical mass to not only to turn our planet into a nuclear cloud, but to extend its impact to the sky, the stars and space beyond them. This is the story of nine nuclear nations, nine types of men, nine types of bombs, nine planets and nine forms of cloudifying them.

Adrián Regnier Chávez graduated from the Visual Arts degree at ENPEG La Esmeralda, in fall 2012. Since then, his video work has been featured in more than 50 collective and individual art exhibits, animation, film and experimental video art festivals. In 2012, he won 1st place in 10th National Experimental Video Art, by Baja California's Institute of Culture and 1st International Place in ICBC's International Video art Festival Pantalla Global.  http://adrianregnier.com/


France, 2012, 5 min, Director Cris Ubermann, Video Art, Poem by Dimitris DIMITRIADIS, Music by Antropik & Raven (2012), no dialogue. https://vimeo.com/43239370

A reflexion about nuclear power and environment. www.crisubermann.com

Director‘s statement: I spent five years of extensive research in Japan, which involved investigating the essence of images by shooting top performers and dancers to understand the nature of movement and its impact on the eye. The eyes have their own minds, their own spirits, they are entities independent of all other things in the universe.  Cinema is similar, in its purest form, film presents a world seen through the highly subjective and personal eyes of the filmmakers. My wish has always been to make a film that not only catches the audience's eye, but also holds and embraces its entire being. As Tarkovsky said, “It is impossible to learn from others. We must live our own experiences, as we cannot inherit others’. Everyone must get their own. But once we’ve got it, we no longer have time to use it.” Cris Ubermann


USA, 2009, Music Video, 2 min, Director Michael Elam, Production Blue Harvest Records, https://vimeo.com/8473618

Music video for 'Michael Elam-In a Single Minute' (2009 Blue Harvest Records). 'In a Single Minute' is available on 'Michael Elam's 'Atomic Fireball' EP (2009 Blue harvest Records). The video features public domain footage from 'Atomic Alert (1951)', 'House in the Middle (1954)', 'Atomic Bomb (1946)', and 'Atomic Test-Operation Cue' (Courtesy of Archive.org and the Prelinger Archives.

As usual, I obsess over a small concept or idea until it reaches fruition. However, this particular piece came together with the greatest of ease. It was if forces from beyond the visably present realm were guiding my every move. The atomic test footage literally fell into my hands along with the beat and the melody. I am aware that this footage has been used in a magnitude of other works, nonetheless, I feel as if it is appropriate and fitting for the haste and hurry depicted in the tempo of the song. Besides, who doesn't enjoy this imagry on some level? Remember, everything can change in a single minute. http://blueharvestrecords.blogspot.com.br/2009/05/in-single-minute.html


Canada, 2009, 4 MIN, Animation, Director: Alison Davis, Producer: Alison Davis, English. https://vimeo.com/20140269

Loving the Bomb is a hand-drawn animation that constructs a portrait of a family grappling with contradiction: how to live with the effects of nuclear weapons while depending on their production? Amidst positive atomic propaganda and exhilarating accounts of nuclear testing, the blank faces of father, mother and child reveal confusion and our minute stature compared to the industry. 

Alison Davis is an animator based in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. She creates independent drawn animated shorts using a variety of media including, pencil, ink, watercolour, pastel and digital colouring.


USA, 2014, Animation, 14 min, Spanish and English. Director: David Harrison. Producer: Emlyn Hughes, K1 Animation Lab, Center for Nuclear Studies at Columbia University, http://www.k1project.org/search?q=amalia

On Black Saturday, 1962, a Cuban woman stuck in purgatory, Amalia, is forced to confront her past when guests arrive claiming that Cuba has been destroyed.  Background is the The Cuban nuclear missile crisis of October 1962. The crisis peaked on Oct. 27, the Black Saturday, when a series of startling events, including the shooting down of an American U-2 spy plane over Cuba, suggested that neither Khrushchev nor Kennedy fully controlled their own military machines.  Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. described it as the “most dangerous moment in human history.”

David Harrison is currently a fourth year Theatre Major at New York University and has been studying in film school and directing films since he was sixteen. David is interested in using narrative films to address human rights issues like nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism. He is thrilled to be a part of K1 Project. "Though recent years have witnessed a revitalization of scholarly and public interest in the topic of nuclear technologies, there has not been a corresponding increase in the extent of involvement by scientists in the pursuit of needed policy and the education of the public. The K1 Project, Center for Nuclear Studies at Columbia University, seeks to rectify this situation by providing opportunities to prepare future scientist and scholars to become leaders and experts on the topic of nuclear technologies."  http://www.k1project.org/home/

BELOVED SUN (Liebe Sonne)

Germany, 2011, 5 min Animation, no dialog Production: Franka Sachse, Uli Seis, Bauhaus-University Weimar, https://vimeo.com/15142603 and https://vimeo.com/34774632

A firefly falls in love with the most shiny thing he knows, the sun. Fireflies are so romantic, aren't they? And if it is the last thing they do... http://franka-sachse.blogspot.com.br/2012/09/liebe-sonne-im-brasilianisc...

Director's Statement: The work on our animated short film started with the romantic idea of a firefly that falls in love with the sun. Even though the sun seems unreachable, the firefly is still happy - until a combat fought by humans makes the sun disappear. Trying to find his love the firefly destroys not only the world but the idea of the "happy ending" itself. "The boy got the girl and everybody's dead." Liebe Sonne" (engl. "Beloved Sun") was our graduation film. Franka Sachse, Uli Seis


Germany, 2011, 2 min, Animation, Director:  Anna Luisa Schmid | Producer:  Anna Luisa Schmid. No Dialogue. https://vimeo.com/81749731

An answer to the nuclear-power-campaign in Germany 2011. We are watching a man on his morning routine who doesn’t know what he affects at the other side of the planet. 

"Mein erfolgreicher Bewerbungsfilm für die Filmhochschule Babelsberg - http://www.filmuniversitaet.de - für das Fach Animation 2010", Anna Luisa Schmid

SMALL OBJECT (Pequeno Objeto A) 

Brazil, 2014, 16 min, Video Art, Director:  Daniel Abib | Producer:  Daniel Abib. Original Language:  Portuguese 

A short film about a girl, a scientist and a nuclear bomb. Shiro Ishio builds the bomb of the apocalypse and now seeks to understand its impact.  "Small Object" is about science and its limits. The film is a Student production of the State University Fluminense of Rio de Janeiro (UFF).  https://www.facebook.com/pequenoobjetoa

19.00 - Atomic Bombs Lost Film Session

Broken Arrow. Nuclear Accident in Palomares (Operación Flecha Rota. Accidente Nuclear en Palomares)

Spain, 2007, 96 min, Documentary, Director:  Jose Herrera Plaza, Producer:  Antonio Sánchez Picón. Original Language:  Spanish- English , Subtitles Portugues

In January 1966 two American airplanes collided over Palomares (Almería-Spain) and as a consequence, four H-bombs fell to hearth. Two of them explode their conventional charge and due to the strong wind radioactive material is scattered over the region. An intensive search is started to find the fourth bomb. At the same time decontamination process of the zone is starting and the residual contamination of persons and environment begins to be checked and also the “Project Indalo”, still running 48 years later. The narration is strictly told by experts and protagonists. It is complemented with documentary and audiovisual material unpublished in its greater part, declassified in the last years.

Director's statement: "January 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the nuclear accident in Palomares (Almeria, Spain). For half a century, 1500 human beings have lived misled surrounded by several kgs of plutonium scattered by wind and rain in the Mediterranean and around. This is the story of a lie born during the Cold War, the Franco dictatorship and the genesis of the nuclear industry in Spain. A still alive, open story, in demand for a final solution. " Jose Herrera Plaza

Filmmaker Jose Herrera Plaza is also co-Author of the Book “Operación Flecha Rota. Accidente Nuclear En Palomares”. See also this information in German: USA zahlen nicht mehr für Atomwaffenunfall - http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/33/33192/1.html

Friday, July 17th  /  15.00 - Film Session about Radioactivity

The Radioactive Thing  (La cosa radiactiva)

Spain, 30 min, 2013, Documentary, Directors: Sergio Galán and Alejandro Perez,  Spanish, English subtitles, Trailer: http://vimeo.com/59710253

La Cosa Radiactiva is a road trip of engineers, musicians & artists in order to explore several sites related with radioactivity in Spain. We travel fully loaded with our free hardware equipment, designed to measure & visualize the natural radioactivity from earth, as well as the artificial one created by us humans. We organized debates and performances in places with some sort of connection with the history of the nuclear Industry in Spain. We played with the Do It Yourself Geiger counters and tried to bind a connection between. The movie is a compilation of several short pieces recorded during this trip, mainly intended for distribution on Internet. It combines visual expression, debate and scientific divulgation. http://lacosaradiactiva.uncoded.es/

La Cosa Radiactiva is a "research on transparency and nuclear secrets. A performance to demystify radiation while building awareness of its risks. An imagination exercise to reflect on how it would be like to live with radiation and above all this, a call about the importance of citizens having their own tools to be able to verify public health data provided by governmental authorities."

Scan of Death  (Revista da Morte)

Brazil, 2013, 32 min, Documentary, Director:  Laércio Tomaz, Producer:  Davi Lima da Silva, Guina Vieira and Laércio Tomaz.  Original Language:  Portuguese

The use of ionizing radiation in security body scanners in prisons of the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, may have been the cause of more than 20 abortions. Evidences of human rights violations are noticeable and victims report authority abuse of the prison guards. Further information: http://www.conter.gov.br/?pagina=noticias&id=676

Laércio Tomaz is Filmmaker & Journalist and works for the "Conselho Nacional de Técnicos em Radiologia (CONTER)" in Brasília. 

17.00 - Fukushima Film Session 

The Plan (?) 

USA, 2014, 6 min, Documentary, Director:  Susan Rubin, Andrea Garbarini, Producer:  Susan Rubin and Andrea Garbarini,  English, https://vimeo.com/96615872

What happens if a similar accident like "Fukushima" happens in New York? A short film about the absurdity of the current evacuation plan for the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant of New York City: How to evacuate about 10 million people?

Alone In The Zone

Japan, 2013, 18 min, Documentary, Directors: Ivan Kovac and Jeffrey Jousan, Producer:  Vice Japan. Japanese, English or Portuguese subtitles, http://www.vice.com/video/radioactive-man

Two years since the Fukushima Dajichi Nuclear Power Plant went into full meltdown, and the resulting 20 km evacuation zone was enforced, one farmer still remains behind braving high levels of radiation and loneliness to tend to abandoned animals. His name is Naoto Matsumura, and he is the last man standing in the ghost town of Tomioka. Another farmer, Kenji Hasegawa's town of lidate was also evacuated due to high levels of radiation, he sought refuge in temporary housing. Faced with a post-nuclear world both these men share brutally honest views on the state of their lives, TEPCO, government inaction and some of the hardest situations they have had to face in the midst of overwhelming radioactivity. Awards: The Webby Awards 2014 Honoree

Ivan Kovac, Jeffrey Jousan and Paul Johannessen are three filmmakers who were all living in Japan during the disaster in 2011. They founded the film company Kugi Productions. The Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro already screened first documentary produced by Kugi Productions: Women of Fukushima. http://www.women-of-fukushima.com/the-filmmakers/

Ordinary Lives  (Futu no Seikatsu)

Japan, 2012, 80 min, Documentary. Director:  Taizo Yoshida, Producer:  Neighbors. Original Language:  Japanese, Subtitles English or Portuguese

How important it is to continue our ordinary lives. We realize it only when we get into a disaster. Can you imagine how difficult to live under high radioactive environment? We interviewed some fifty Fukushima people in April and September, 2011. This movie reveals the inner struggles of children, mothers and people around them. Fukushima is a 'battle field' to keep the lives of ordinary people off from radioactivity. Similar life threatening human disaster could happen to you anywhere, anytime in the world.  http://ordinarylife.bgettings.com/wp/?m=201504

Director’s Statement by Taizo Yoshida: Mothers say, “Please make use of our experience in Fukushima in the world. It can happen to anywhere and to anybody as long as nuclear power stations are in operation.”  People in Fukushima tend to endure hardships. They don’t speak up, so I tried to collect the voices of muttering and made a very quiet film. I want you to meet real Fukushima people here. They can never go back to ‘Ordinary Lives’ they had before March 11, 2011. http://ordinarylife.bgettings.com/wp/

Sapporo film director Taizo Yoshida made a wonderful documentary as he visited Tohoku many times as a volunteer. He talked to families, local teachers and business people about how they were getting on with their lives in the months following the disaster. There are also plans for a follow-up film to see what has happened since the first interviews. http://www.imagineschool.net/amandas-blog/ordinary-lives-dvd

19.00 - Film Session Chernobyl

Inseparable (Motylki) 

Ukraine, 2013, Fiction, 118 Min, Director: Vitaliy Vorobyov, Production:  Victor Mirsky. Executive Producer Katerina Shvets, Director of photography: Pavel Kulakov, Russian. English or Portuguese subtitels. Yellow Oscar Award 2015, Trailer: https://vimeo.com/76185719

April, 1986. Pripyat, Ukraine. A core meltdown occurred at Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Power Plant. Over thirty people died during the blast but the estimated death toll as a result of the radiation fallout will reach a four-digit number. This accident will be considered the world’s largest ecological disaster. Set at ground zero of a catastrophe, this film will reveal the details of the Chernobyl event. The shocking news of the explosion at the nuclear plant has spread, as the world watched the tragedy in fear and confusion. Hearts went out to those who displayed selfless courage and integrity in the initial efforts to stabilize the reactor power. But some were too busy being in love to notice what had just happened in nearby Chernobyl. The disaster has faded into the background... This is an account of love and loss, bravery and supernatural stoicism in the face of unbeatable odds. Film website: http://film.ua/en/production/filmsandseries/projects/241

Awards: Best TV film/series, Teletriumph 2013   /  VFX in a TV Episode, FICCI BAF Awards 2014, Platinum Remi Award, WorldFest Houston 2014  /  Silver Plaque, Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards 2014 / Yellow Oscar Award 2015, International Uranium Film Festival.

Photo credit: Still of the wonderful animated film AMALIA by David Harrison



Films, Documentaries, movies and animations are the best tool to transport information about nuclear energy and radioactivity, an invisible danger that has no taste, no smell, no colour. And a festival is the best way to bring these films to the people! The Uranium Film Festival is a project against forgetting and ignoring. The horror of atomic bombs and uranium weapons, and nuclear accidents like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Goiânia or now Fukushima should never be forgotten - nor repeated. "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it", said Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana. As all independent film festivals  the Uranium Film Festival depends on partners and Your contribution. Please support the festival. Make a donation.