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US break for city filmmaker

A Ranchi-based national award winning filmmaker’s latest documentary will be screened at an international festival in New York next month.

Gere dan of Shriprakash, known for his films on environmental issues, will be premiered at the International Uranium Film Festival, 2014, on February 16.

The festival, which will be held at Pavilion Theatre in New York from February 14 to 19, will also screen his another documentary Buddha weeps in Jadugoda, along with another Indian filmmaker Pradeep Indulkar’s High Power. Both Indian directors are likely to attend the festival.

Shot in African country Mali, Gere dan deals with uranium mining and environmental hazards related with the occupation. The 50-minute documentary originally made in Jalonke language of Mali and its English subtitled version For the Supreme Fight speak of rampant uranium mining in Mali and other African countries, like Niger, Gabon, Namibia and Congo.

“The film attempts to portray various aspects of uranium mining in the poorest and driest region of the world,” Shriprakash said.

He added sustained efforts by environmentalists and strict law had curbed uranium mining in different parts of the world. But, mining companies continue to explore uranium aggressively in African countries, taking advantage of poor governance, political instability and abject poverty.

Narrating his experience, Shriprakash said he shot the film when he visited Bamako, the capital of Mali, on an invitation to attend an international conference on uranium mining in 2013.

They had gone to Falea, a small village near the country’s border with Senegal. Meanwhile, a coup overthrew the government in the country, leading to a massive chaos and they got stuck midway while returning to Bamako.

The driver of the rented car that they were travelling in abandoned them around 100km away from Bamako and fled with the car. They returned to their hotel with great difficulty, only to find that it had downed shutters.

“We were from different countries. We pooled funds, collected essentials with the help of some local people and cooked our own food. The food varied in nature as whosoever cooked on a particular day did so according to the method prevalent in his own country,” he reminiscent.