6th International Uranium Film Festival Rio de Janeiro 2016: Films from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Spain and Switzerland winning the Yellow Einstein Award of the 6th International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro

The Uranium Film Festival Award Winners 2016

Rio de Janeiro’s 6th International Uranium Film Festival awarded 10 films from 8 countries: Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Six films received the Yellow Einstein Award and 4 films the festival’s Special Recognition. In total the festival screened in the cinematheque of Rio de Janeiro’s Modern Art Museum (MAM) 49 films from all over the world about atomic power, uranium, nuclear security and radioactive risks. 13 filmmakers and producers were present in Rio.

„Since the beginning of time radiation is part of human mankind. There is natural radiation coming from space and from the rocks under our feet. And because of the discovering and use of the powerful element uranium we have in addition the „man-made“ radiation coming from the contamination of our planet - for example - through mining and by more than 2000 atomic bombs that were blown up in the Atmosphere just by the five A-Bomb states USA, Russia, France, United Kingdom and China“, says festival director Norbert G. Suchanek. 

Radioactivity is invisible, has no smell no taste. „It’s a huge challenge to film something that you cannot see, but something that still can hurt or even kill you“, says Suchanek. „For that the making of nuclear films is sometimes a risky business. And the Uranium Film Festival was created to honor and to award these filmmakers and their work.“

The Uranium Film Festival trophy is a piece of art produced by Brazilian waste-material-artist Getúlio Damado, who lives and works in the famous artist quarter Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro where the first International Uranium Film Festival was held in May 2011. Getúlio creates the Uranium Film Festival Award from waste material, that he finds in the streets of Santa Teresa. He uses also old watches to remember the first atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima. Watches in Hiroshima stopped exactly at 8:15 in the morning when the A-bomb exploded on August 6th, 1945. „For the last six years our Award had the nickname Yellow Oscar. But this year in April the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood prohibited us the use of the name Oscar. For that we had to find a new name. For that from now on the Uranium Film Festival Award is called the Yellow Einstein“, explains festival director Norbert G. Suchanek.




Denmark, 2014,  Director Peter Anthony, Producer Jakob Staberg, Statement Film, Co-production: WG Film, Doc-Fiction with Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Stanislav Petrov, Sergey Shnyryov, u.a., Docudrama, 105 min.

1983. The Cold War is seconds from exploding. The world holds its breath as the superpowers USA and Russia are arming themselves against each other with thousands of nuclear missiles. On the 26th of September, Russian radars intercept five nuclear missiles on their way to Russia. Stanislav Petrov is commander-in-chief. The decision that would start World War III rests on his shoulders. Should Russia fire nuclear missiles at the United States in defence? 'The Man Who Saved the World' is an epic Cold War thriller that sends shivers down your spine, while also being a gripping story about the man who actually saved the world, and his struggle to get his life back on track before it is too late.   “I often get the chance to play a hero. But Stanislav is a true real-life hero.” Kevin Costner 

"With his extraordinary master piece THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, Danish filmmaker Peter Anthony pushed the borders, how documentary can be done and what it might achieve far beyond everything what was known so far. Beginning with his marvelous staged re-enactments of the very heavy situation in which Stanislav Petrov had to decide if he would take the alarm of being attacked by american nuclear rockets for real and if they had to respond or not, continuing with this something in-between of feature- and documentary film, which takes you right from the beginning till the very end, when Stanislav Petrov after decades meets his mother again, into an emotional roller coaster. The most outstanding from a filmmakers view was, how Peter Anthony pushed his difficult main character Petrov to play himself. It was a brilliant way to show the different facets of this man who decided against everything he was educated in the russian army on a purely emotional base, and who was on the other hand unable to speak about what happened with his closest family. After watching this film you realize how close mankind has been to lose our whole planet, how technical systems again and again are not reliable enough to handle neither the military use of nuclear power nor the so-called peaceful, energy-generating-use of it." Rainer Ludwigs, filmmaker and director of the award winning animated documentary  „Leonid’s Story"



Australia, 2015, Director Wain Fimeri, Producer Sonya Pemberton and Genepool Productions for SBS Australia, PBS America & ZDF/Arte. Documentary in 3 parts, 51 min each.

The untold story of the most wondrous and terrifying rock on Earth. Legends say there’s a world beneath this one where a dragon lies sleeping. They say be careful how you wake the dragon. The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the most profound change in the history of human enterprise on Earth: the unleashing of the elemental force within uranium, the explosion of an atomic bomb, the unleashing of the dragon. Come on an epic journey with physicist and YouTube phenomenon Dr Derek Muller to discover the untold story of the most wondrous and terrifying rock on Earth. Love it or loathe it, whatever your views on uranium, this series will challenge them.

„All three parts of  URANIUM – TWISTING THE DRAGON’S TAIL are very well done. An interesting and entertaining lesson about the history of Uranium, the element that became the fuel for nuclear bombs and nuclear reactors. But the third part about the risks and the future of the use of nuclear energy is provoking. The presented so called scientific facts about Chernobyl victims presented and the final conclusion should be openly and widely discussed.“ Norbert G. Suchanek, Uranium Film Festival director
„The quality of the three parted URANIUM – TWISTING THE DRAGON’S TAIL was brilliant. The impressing pictures, as well as the down-to-earth-character of Wain Fimeri's presenter who explores together with the viewer the astonishing  universe of uranium and the good and the bad sides of its use - the last part ended up with an irritating conclusion. Staying close to scientific facts, as the filmmaker Fimari pointed out, his visit and measurement of the house of an old couple in the forbidden zone of Chernobyl which showed no higher background radiation than the normal one, could give the viewer the impression that the long-lasting problems of radioactive emissions are much to overrated. However, I missed the longterm effects which treat the affected people still in the second and third generation, not in only one spot, in the southern area, close to the power plant, but in the much more treated northern region which was in the wind direction when the disaster happened. And where, in Belarus, the very high statistic rates of cancer and birth defects speak their own clear language, still after 30 years. But of course - this is the problem of the scientific way to handle this - not one of these could clearly related to the Chernobyl disaster. So presenting the official low numbers of deaths, how Wain did it in the end of his trilogy will ever be cynical related to the pain and misery hundreds of thousands of affected families still have to face, losing their children, their health, their homes and being stigmatized as victims forever.“ Rainer Ludwigs, filmmaker and director of the award winning animated documentary  „Leonid’s Story"



Italy, 2015, Director Matteo Gagliard, Production Christine Reinhold, Teatro Primo Studio – Film Beyond. Documentary, 84 min,

A powerful documentary – shot from March 11th, 2011 through March 2015 – that sheds some light on what really happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the 2011 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. An exclusive journey of four years inside the triple tragedy which hit Japan on March 11, 2011, following Italian Sky News reporter Pio d’Emilia who has lived in Japan for more than thirty years. 



Brazil/USA, 2015, Director Miguel Silveira, Producer J.Charles Banks, Scott Riehs, Hugo Kenzo, Dp John Wakayama Carey, Missy Hernandez. Fiction, 19 min,

A troubled 14-years-old boy grows increasingly isolated as he obsesses over the circumstances surrounding his father death his descent puts him on a dismal and potentially violent course that will lead to major truths and even greater questions. His father was a Soldier at the Golf War. He died because he was contaminated with Depleted Uranium. The film was Influenced by Professor Siegwart Horst Günther the "father" of the anti-uranium-weapons movement and who received the Nuclear-Free Future Award 2007. 

"The first ever made Brazilian/US movie about the use of Depleted Uranium Weapons."



Switzerland, 2015, Director Marcel Barelli, Producer Nicolas Burlet, Nadasdy film, Coproduced by RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera. Animation, 7 min. - Trailer:

The story of the first nuclear power plant 100 per cent in Switzerland ... but also the last. 



Spain, 2015, Director Lluis Quilez, Producer Lluis Quilez, Ester Velasco, Cristian Guijarro. Fiction, 30 min,

An apocalyptic world. A devastated city. One last survivor. Edgar has learned to survive on his own avoiding contaminated areas by the "incident" that destroyed life as we knew it. But Edgar's routine is suddenly disrupted by the discovery of a wall with a graffiti by his bed. Just one word reveals the presence of another survivor: „Anna."




The Netherlands, 2014, Director and Producer Tineke van Veen, Documentary, 14 min,
The film-installation elaborates on the cleaning of the landscape, people who clean the landscape and the landscape itself. Landscape conceived as a space, both natural and cultivated, dynamic and cultural, an environment in which we “stay”, move, develop and exist, where social- and power relations play an important role. Landscape as a reflection, as a form of exchange and identification. How do we relate to this traumatized landscape? The evacuees are not only confronted with loss of their native soil, there is also the problem of no return because of nuclear radiation. These effects are much more severe, if not unsolvable. Both areas, hit by the tsunami and the devastated Daiichi power plant, has to be cleaned. The interviews deal with the persons who clean these areas, voluntary or paid, his motivation and his traumatic relationship with the affected and ruined landscape. The Japanese cultivated landscape has a centuries-old tradition and a special relationship with its residents. Old Japanese gardens are slowly overgrown by new nature. Meanwhile residents will be given permission to return to the ‘clean’ landscape.


Italy, 2015, Director Alessandro Tesei, Photography Pierpaolo Mittica, Production Mondo in Cammino Productions. Documentary, 64 min.

More than 60 years have passed since the Nuclear Power Plant of Mayak, in the pre Siberian Russia, behind the Urals, began his work of massive contamination in the area. Three catastrophic accidents have taken place from 1949 to 1967, without anyone's knowledge.The unsuspecting inhabitants have been studied for decades and used as laboratory animals, in order to obtain data about radioactive irradiation. 

"BEHIND THE URALS - THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHERNOBYL by Alessandro Tesei was done with high personal investment of the Italian filmmaker and without any budget. Being on the other side of professional equipped movies, compare to Peter Anthony’s Masterpiece, Alessandro's kind of "guerrilla-filmmaking" with small equipment and any official allowance was maybe the only way to make it takes you nevertheless on a breathtaking road movie through one of the highest contaminated radioactive areas of the pre-siberian Russia, caused by some nuclear accidents and the heavy pollution of radioactive substances into the Techa river. Here the filmmaker meets inhabitants who are taken as a kind of laboratory animals to obtain data about radioactive irradiation. Because his individual and personal kind of storytelling would unfortunately never meet the requirements of official TV-Channels it's one more merit for Marcia Gomes de Oliveira and Norbert G. Suchanek, the founders of the Uranium Film Festival, to select also this film, which is so important to be shown.“ Rainer Ludwigs, filmmaker and director of the award winning animated documentary  „Leonid’s Story"

BROKEN ARROW. NUCLEAR ACCIDENT IN PALOMARES (Operación Flecha Rota. Accidente Nuclear en Palomares)

Spain, 2007, Director Jose Herrera Plaza, Production Antonio Sánchez Picón. Documentary, 96 min.

Cold War. 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...  Director's statement: „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. " 


Germany, 2014, Directors: Reinhart  Brüning, Ranga Yogeshwar, Thomas Hallet, Wolfgang Lemme, Production WDR, Documentary,  43 min. 

In this documentary a WDR-television crew and science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar gains access to the area of the atomic plant Fukushima Daiichi and got the opportunity to take samples of radiation and to shoot a film for a couple of hours in this polluted area. Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar has gained extensive access to Japan's battered Fukushima power plant. He speaks to DW about exploring radiation-contaminated zones, and how the cleanup has progressed so far. 


Alessandro Tesei, José Herrera Plaza, Marcus Schwenzel, Miguel Silveira, Missy Hernandez, Peter Anthony, Petrus Pires, Rainer Ludwigs, Reinhart Brüning, Roberto Fernández, Tetyana Cherniavska, Tineke van Veen, Wain Fimeri.


About one year before the Fukushima reactor exploded, the International Uranium Film Festival (IUFF) was founded in 2010 in Santa Teresa, the famous artist quarter in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.  It is the first festival of its kind that addresses all nuclear and radioactive issues. The aim is to inform about nuclear power, uranium mining, nuclear weapons and the risks of radioactivity. Independent documentaries and movies are the best tool to bring that information to a diverse international public. And a festival is the best way to bring the films to the people! The horror of atomic bombs and those who suffered from them, and nuclear accidents like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl should never be forgotten - nor repeated. Then the nuclear accident in Fukushima happened just two months before the first edition of the International Uranium Film Festival in May 2011 in Rio de Janeiro.

Uranium mining, fracking, nuclear accidents, atomic bomb factories, nuclear waste:  No matter if you are in favour or against the use of nuclear power, all people should be informed about the risks. The International Uranium Film Festivals creates a neutral space to throw light on all nuclear issues. It stimulates new productions, supports "nuclear" filmmaking and the discussion about the nuclear question in Brazil and worldwide. 


Alphonse Kelecom - Professor for radio-biologogy at the Instituto de Geociências of the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was born in Belgium and is living in Rio de Janeiro.
Leo Ribeiro - He is award winning Filmmaker & Professor for animated film, born in Minas Gerais, living in Rio de Janeiro.
Damacio Lopez - Founder of the International Depleted Uranium Study Team, USA, New Mexico.
Hernani Heffner - Curador Adjunto e Conservador-Chefe da Cinemateca do Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. Professor for Cinema at the University PUC-Rio.
João Luiz Leocádio - Nuclear Engineer and Professor of the Department of Cinema & Video at the Federal Fluminense University (UFF) in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Uwe Bünker - Director of the Casting Agency"" in Berlin, Germany


Marcia Gomes de Oliveira - Executive Director, Social Scientist, Documentary Filmmaker, born in Rio de Janeiro.
Norbert G. Suchanek - General Director, Germany, Journalist, Author, Filmmaker and Correspondent in Rio de Janeiro


The festival thanks our longterm local partners & supporters Modern Art Museum Cinematheque, Armazém São Thiago, Esquina de Santa, Bar do Mineiro, Cachaça Magnífica and also Caffè Teichner and Villa Laurinda. Special thanks to the supporters Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Brazil, Goethe Institut Rio de Janeiro, the Suiss Consulate in Rio and FAETEC.

The Uranium Film Festival is only made possible with financial support from individual donors and sponsors. The legal organizer of the Festival is the non-profit arts and cultural organization  “Arquivo Amarelo“, based in Rio de Janeiro and registered as Brazilian charity.

We welcome any contribution. Thank you!
Donation via Bank transfer to
Name: Arquivo Amarelo  /  CNPJ 14.798.860/0001-27
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