By Lisa Molinari, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Just a week after the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the 2nd Uranium Film Festival begins in Rio de Janeiro, continuing to raise public consciousness about energy sources and the environment. The festival is a unique chance to see over fifty selected films concerning nuclear energy, atomic bombs and the risks of uranium mining, all being screened at MAM (Museu de Arte Moderna) from June 28th to July 14th.

Peter Greenaway film, Atomic Bombs on the Planet Earth, Uranium Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro
Atomic Bombs on the Planet Earth, an experimental short film by Peter Greenaway, photo by Uranium Film Festival.

The Uranium Film Festival is the only international festival focused on the issue, and after a successful first year is back at a time when the city is brimming with activists. The festival jury has selected eight movies, from eight different countries, out of a total of 54, competing within three categories – Best Short, Best Feature (longer than 41 minutes) and Best Animation.

Among many underground filmmakers taking part in this festival, the acclaimed movie director Peter Greenaway is bringing for his ‘Atomic Bombs on the Planet Earth’ (2011), a twelve-minute documentary about those responsible for the explosion of 2,201 atomic bombs in five countries around the world. The screening will be on Friday, June 29th at 6PM.

Also competing for the “Yellow Oscar” in the short movie category is Swedish filmmaker Marko Kattilakoski, with the playful ‘Fikapaus’ (Coffee Break), a fifteen minute movie of a couple of colleagues who meet on a coffee break and talk about the in-famous nuclear accidents of Harrisburg, Chernobyl and Forsmark (screening on Saturday, July 7th at 6PM).

Coffee Break, photo by ranium Film Festival.
Coffee Break, photo by Uranium Film Festival.

“I was very proud and happy [to be] chosen for the Festival with my Coffee Break,” shares director Mr. Kattilakoski, adding “I’m even prouder and happier after being chosen in the finals for the Yellow Oscar. Coffee Break was a story that I wanted to tell, all the crew believed in my idea and we did the movie with a minimum budget and lots of love.”

Other films at the festival inform about lesser known tragedies such as the Feature documentary ‘Not for Public Release: a Nuclear Incident in Lock Haven’ (2010). “Lock Haven’s accident, in Pennsylvania, and many of its victims, never got any visibility by any corporate media in Pennsylvania nor in the whole United States,” explains director Bill Keisling.

Competing in the Animated Film category for a Yellow Oscar is ‘Leonids Story’ an nineteen-minute movie by German and Ukrainian director, Rainer Ludwigs. The story is about a Soviet family searching for paradise and swept into disaster, created with drawing, photography and documentary video.

“Because of reactions such as Bill [Keisling] and Marko [Kattilakoski]’s we are working hard to make a global event out of Uranium Film Festival” describes Norbert G. Suchanek, the general director and founder of this thought-provoking festival. The whole program of Uranium Film Festival can be found at the website:


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