INTERNATIONAL URANIUM FILM FESTIVAL IN TIMES OF COVID-19
VALLEY OF THE GODS (Dolina Bogow) by director Lech Majewski from Poland and the documentary BALENTES – THE BRAVE ONES (I CORAGGIOSI) by Australian-Italian director Lisa Camillo are the winners of the International Uranium Film Festival (IUFF) in Berlin 2020. Honorable Mentions received the German documentary About the Meaning of Everything (VOM SINN DES GANZEN – DAS NETZWERK DES PHYSIKERS HANS-PETER DÜRR) directed by Claus Biegert, documentary THE SOVIET GARDEN (Gradina Sovietica) directed by Dragos Turea from Moldova and the animation documentary DAY OF THE WESTERN SUNRISE directed by Keith Reimink.
“Safety first” was the rule during the International Uranium Film Festival Berlin in the CineStar-Cinema of the prestigious Kulturbrauerei that ended Sunday 18th with the award ceremony. Social distancing and Anti-Covid-Masks were obligatory during this in the world unique film festival about the Atomic Age. During four intensive days 14 “atomic” movies and documentaries from Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Moldavia, Poland and USA were screened. “It was really good. Despite the peculiar circumstances because of Covid-19 safety, the IUFF Berlin 2020 was definitely one of our most successful festivals,” says Berlin-based Uranium Film Festival producer Jutta Wunderlich.
Best Feature Movie
The Uranium Film Festival jury gave the Best Feature Movie Award to the drama movie VALLEY OF THE GODS (Dolina Bogow), written and directed by Lech Majewski, starring Josh Hartnett, John Malkovich, Berenice Marlohe, John Rhys-Davies, Jaime Ray Newman and Laura Ecas.
“The International Uranium Film Festival had always deep respect for indigenous peoples and especially for the Navajo Nation”, said German actor and producer Timo Jacobs in the name of the festival”s jury. “For that the Uranium Film Festival has already taken place twice in Window Rock, the capital of the Navajo.”
Timo Jacobs: “Since the 1940s, the Navajo, who call themselves Dine, have suffered from uranium mining and its radioactive legacy. More than 500 abandoned uranium mines and unsecured tailings contaminate soil, air and water of the Navajo Nations with radioactive and toxic elements. Any film that deals with this tragedy, which is largely ignored by the public, deserves the attention of the Uranium Film Festival. This is especially true for the feature movie Valley of the Gods. Lech Majewski shot his film with the greatest respect for the Navajo Nation and tried to convey the topic from their point of view. Even more: Director Lech Majewski managed to win over well-known film stars such as John Malkovich and Josh Hartnett for his film, which makes it all the more valuable. Valley of the Gods can therefore bring the question of uranium mining and its disastrous consequences for the Navajo to Hollywood. This brings the topic closer to a world that has so far been almost impossible to reach through documentary films. For this reason alone, Lech Majewski deserves an award from the Uranium Film Festival.”
“Personally, I allow myself the opportunity to grab my head and thank you very much for this film. To be able to present you this award is worth more to me than to present Stephen Spielberg with an Oscar. Your magical realism is a gift for every movie lover. Keep motivated and communicate with us through art.”
Best Feature Documentary
The Uranium Film Festival jury gave the Best Feature Documentary Award to the Australian-Italian documentary BALENTES – THE BRAVE ONES (I CORAGGIOSI), directed by Lisa Camillo.
“The film deals with a central, highly topical question of the international peace and environmental movement: environmental destruction through war and other military activities. This is done using the example of Sardinia, where this can be seen particularly clearly,” justified Prof. Manfred Mohr for the Uranium Film Festival.
Manfred Mohr: “The documentation impressively contrasts the wonderful landscape of the island with the terrible devastation on the military training areas and in their surroundings. One of the problems behind this, but not the only one, is the use of uranium or DU weapons. For years ICBUW is campaigning for a global ban of these weapons.”
“The film impresses with its high level of professionalism, coupled with a great personal and political commitment in favour of the people affected and the tortured nature. BALENTES – THE BRAVE ONES does not stop at the description of the problem and the condition, but broadly and convincingly illustrates the revolt of the Sardinian population against it. A masterpiece worthy of an Uranium Film Festival Award in every aspect.”
Festival partners in Berlin are the Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW), the Lawyers’ Association against Nuclear Weapons (IALANA), the International Doctors for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Sayonara Nukes Berlin and the Friedensglockengesellschaft Berlin. As in previous years, patrons are MdB Klaus Mindrup, Jörg Sommer, chairman of the German Environmental Foundation and casting director Uwe Bünker. The International Uranium Film Festival is financially supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Umweltbundesamt. Other supporters of the festival this year are: the GLS Treuhand, the Elektrizitätswerke Schönau, the Italian Cultural Institute Berlin and the Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin.
Internationales Filmfest zum Thema Atomkraft. Vom Uranbergbau bis zum Supergau, von Hiroshima bis Fukushima.
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