The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 23 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Uranium mining perils on screen

It started with a bang and ended with a whimper. But Norbert G. Shuchanek, the director of the travelling Uranium Film Festival that wound up in the capital last week, is happy that they could do their bit in spreading awareness about the hazards of uranium mining.

“Very few people are actually aware of the different aspects of nuclear energy, uranium mining and its impact. Nuclear energy is going to be the focus of governments in the future. Uranium mining too is fast becoming a phenomenon all over. Hence, awareness on these issues is very important for Jharkhand in general and India in particular,” Shuchanek, a Brazilian film-maker who was in Ranchi for the festival, said.

He said uranium waste was very dangerous for mankind. “It takes around 100,000 years to dispose of uranium waste. Hence, it becomes important to spread awareness about uranium,” the film director said.

He also claimed that he first conceived the idea of holding a travelling film festival in the US in 2006. “I remember I was invited to an international meet on uranium six years ago. During the meet, they screened a number of films on mining and nuclear problems. It was there that I first came up with the idea of doing something and spreading word about the harm that uranium can do through films to an international audience,” he said.

Hence, the first travelling film festival kicked off from Brazil in May 2011 and reached countries like Portugal, Germany and India in the subsequent year. The third festival is scheduled to be launched in Brazil in May this year.

“We have already received invitations from countries like Japan, the US and South Africa to hold the film festival there,” Shuchanek said.

In Ranchi, 30 films were screened at three venues — Central University, Brambe, RIMS and International Library and Cultural Centre.

From Ranchi, the festival moved to Manipal in Karnataka and is now on in Hyderabad (till January 25). From there it moves to Pune (January 27-31), Bangalore (February 2-3), Chennai (February 5-7), Thrissur (February 8-10) and Mumbai (February 11-12).