First visit in 13 years; First time award for “Best Young Filmmaker”

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Contact:  David Kraft,  (773)342-7650 (o); (630)506-2864 (c);

                Norbert Suchanek:  55-21-972076704  (What’s App);

CHICAGO— For the first time in its 13-year history, the INTERNATIONAL URANIUM FILM FEST arrives in Chicago.

The opening film will be the classic anti-war film, “On the Beach,” being shown at Loyola University Lake Shore Campus on Thursday, March 28, 6 p.m.  A taped video introduction by Kat Kramer, OTB’s producer/director Stanley Kramer’s daughter, will precede the showing and kick off the Festival.

Sixteen films on a variety of topics dealing with uranium mining, nuclear power, waste, weapons, war and environmental justice issues will be shown over five days at Loyola University, Haymarket House, University of Chicago International House, Music Box Theatre, and Evanston Public Library.  All events are free, with the exception of the event at the Music Box.  Free-will offerings are accepted.  (Film schedule here.)

Over the past 13 years, co-founders and organizers Márcia Gomes de Oliveira and Norbert Suchanek have presented the Festival in its original venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and across numerous cities in Europe and Asia.  This year’s North American Tour Festival runs from March 2nd to May 10th, visiting more than a dozen cities in 10 states and Canada over the course of its run.

“We will be showing important, eye-opening films about risks and consequences of uranium mining, the use nuclear power, nuclear arms and uranium weapons,” says festival’s director and co-founder Norbert G. Suchanek.

The IUFF started in early March in Albuquerque, NM, and Window Rock, AZ, the capital of the Navajo (Diné) Nation. From there, the film-chautauqua will go on its marathon-like tour. Cities included are Tucson, Santa Fe, Austin TX, Ashville NC, Chicago, Vancouver BC, Seattle, Portland, Salem, Irvine, Santa Barbara and Las Vegas.

The Chicago Festival’s official opening will be preceded by a by-invite Reception and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, March 27, 7 p.m. at Haymarket House in Chicago.  The Award, the “Samuel Lawrence Foundation Award for the Best Young Filmmaker”, being awarded for the first time in the Festival’s 13-year history, was won by Indian filmmaker, Satish Munda. from Ranchi, India, for his film short, Jadugoda – The Land of Magic.  The Award is accompanied by a $1,000 cash prize.  A short thank-you message from Munda will be shown at the Reception.

“The International Uranium Film Festival stands as a beacon of advocacy and education, bringing together filmmakers, experts, and concerned citizens from around the world to engage in discussions about the pressing challenges posed by nuclear energy,” noted Bart Ziegler, President of the Samuel Lawrence Foundation.

Ziegler added, “Celebrating emerging talent is at the heart of our mission, and we are thrilled to honor Satish Munda with ‘The Samuel Lawrence Award for the Best Young Filmmaker’ at the International Uranium Film Festival.”

Libbe HaLevy, producer and host of the Nuclear Hotseat (link is external) podcast/broadcast and Ambassador to the United States for the festival, states, “Films are an important tool in educating the public about the dangers posed by all aspects of the nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining to refining to reactors to weapons to forever-dangerous radioactive waste.  They communicate a great deal of information in a concentrated way so that the public can understand the risks posed by all things nuclear and hopefully be inspired to take action.” 

“Radioactivity is not visible, has no taste and no color. The creativity of young filmmakers helps to bring the consequences of the use of nuclear power and weapons, from uranium mining to nuclear waste, to the public and helps ensure that nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl or Fukushima or the victims of uranium mining and nuclear weapons are not forgotten,” observes Festival co-founder and director Márcia Gomes de Oliveira.

The Festival tours at a critical time when both the increased threat of nuclear war exists as a result of the war in Ukraine, and the U.S. government and others around the world are aggressively attempting to resurrect the nuclear power industry.

“These films stand as public testimony that the previous Nuclear Age has been anything but kind to many, many people; and that there is no expectation that the one governments are currently attempting to foist on the world will be any different,” notes Dave Kraft, director of the Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service, a Festival co-sponsor.

“The U.S. Government still, even after 79 years, has failed to clean up the nuclear messes it has made, or fully compensate the nuclear victims it has created worldwide  — from Marshall Islanders to New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin Downwinders, to the military personnel used as guinea pigs during atom bomb tests and clean-ups, to victims of uranium mine contamination.

“These films show the inconvenient and unpleasant effects of Oppenheimer’s Baby that the film about him dared not show.  They also stand as a warning to an uninformed and misled public about the misfortune that awaits them in any future Nuclear Age,” Kraft concluded.


[NOTE: views and comments expressed above are solely those of the Festival sponsors, and not necessarily those of the screening host facilities.]