Climate Change, the Peak Oil and the still growing hunger for energy of the modern societies on all continents: At the beginning of the 21th century the world is - like at the beginning of the 19th century - again in the search for a new direction. Is nuclear energy the solution for Climate Change and the growing demand for Energy as it is claimed by nuclear industry and scientists like JamesLovelock, the author of the Gaia theory?
Windscale (Sellafield), Harrisburg (Three Mile Island), Chernobyl, Goiânia: Radioactive and nuclear power accidents happen. Mining companies spreading around the world in search for new uranium deposits. And on the other side concerned citizens and indigenous peoples fighting against uranium mining projects in countries like Australia, India, Niger, Namibia, USA, Canada or Portugal. Are the democratic world societies - especially in emerging countries like Brazil, China, India or South Africa – prepared to make the right decisions? Do the people really know what radioactivity, what nuclear power means?
That was the background 2010 when we created – one year before Fukushima - the First International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro: The first annual film festival to highlight nuclear and radioactive issues. A film festival to inform especially the Latin American and Portuguese speaking societies and to stimulate world-wide the production of independent documentaries and movies about the whole nuclear fuel chain from uranium mining to nuclear waste deposits; about atomic bombs and about the use and risks of radioactivity and radioactive elements in general.
We started the call for entry May 2010, and March 2011 - when we already had selected over 30 documentaries and movies from all continents - happened the nuclear accident of Fukushima!
Finally between 16th and the 28th of May we screened 33 selected films in the competitive category and 4 documentaries, which were not part of the competition, in Rio de Janeiro. The screening locations were CINEMAISON in the city centre and in Santa Teresa the theatre of the Centro Cultural Parque das Ruinas and the theatre of the Centro Cultural Laurinda Santos Lobo. We had an audience in total of more than 1000 people, many of them students and teachers.
Beside of the screenings we organized - as part of the Festival - two important and successful Exhibitions: "Maõs de Césio", a photo exhibition about the nuclear accident of Goiânia 1987 with the element Caesium 137, the worst radioactive accident of Latin America. The exhibition in the Cultural Centre Laurinda Santos Lobo attracted more than 500 visitors - not included the audience of the Film Festival. The exhibition can now travel to other cities. At the moment it is only in Portuguese, but the Idea is to have it also in English and Spanish and to bring it to other countries. The other exhibition was based on Radiating Posters selected by the Amsterdam based institutions WISE and Laka Foundation: 40 original posters of the global anti-nuclear movement. That exhibition in the gallery of the Cultural Centre Parque das Ruinas was also visited by hundreds of Cariocas and tourists. Satellite festivals were organized in São Paulo, Recife, João Pessoa, Natal, Fortaleza e Salvador. Further screenings are planned also in other countries like USA, Germany, Sweden and South Africa.
Norbert SuchanekCatalogue of the Festival 2011 - PDF