Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 15, 2018

International Uranium Film Festival Returns to Dine' Nation and Region

Photo: "Too Precious to MIne' Uranium Mining in Havasupai Homelands

Media Contact: International Uranium Film Festival Media Contact:

Anna Marie Rondon, Executive Director Norbert G. Suchanek, General Director New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute International Uranium Film Festival 505-906-2671 (c)

Santa Fe Media Contact:

Susan Gordon
Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment 505-577-8438

The issue of nuclear power is not only an issue of the Navajo Nation, who suffered for decades because of uranium mining. All people should be informed about the risks of uranium, nuclear weapons and the whole nuclear fuel chain, states International Uranium Film Festival’s Director Norbert G. Suchanek. In an effort to keep people informed and aware, particularly during this critical time of escalating nuclear threats, the International Uranium Film Festival returns to the U.S. Southwest.

Following screenings in Berlin Germany, the U.S. Southwest tour of the 2018 International Uranium Film Festival will begin at the Navajo Nation Museum with screenings in Window Rock, Navajo Nation, USA scheduled for November 29th and 30th and December 1st. The Festival travels to Flagstaff, AZ for December 2nd screenings, then on to Albuquerque, NM for December 6th screenings. Grants, NM will host December 7th screenings with the Festival’s touring closing in Santa Fe on December 9th.

We are currently selecting the films which will comprise the International Uranium Film Festival. We especially encourage Native American and women filmmakers to send their films about uranium mining or any nuclear issue to the Festival. The selected films will be shown not only in the Navajo Nation Museum but also in venues in Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Grants and Santa Fe. The best productions will receive the Uranium Film Festival´s award in Window Rock. For additional information on the submission process, contact Norbert G. Suchanek, General Director at:

Festival partners and co-organizers of the Uranium Film Festival in the American Southwest are the New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute, New Mexico Health Equity Partnership, McKinley Community Health Alliance, Red Water Pond Road Community Association, Santa Fe Community Foundation, SW Indigenous Uranium Forum and the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE).

We extend our most sincere gratitude to the Levinson Foundation and to the Western Mining Action Network, (WMAN) for their support, making this Festival possible. We invite all interested individuals, businesses and organizations to consider making a donation or becoming a Sponsor. All funds raised through donations and

Sponsorships go toward the cost of producing the Festival. For additional information, contact Susan Gordon at: or Anna Rondon at:

The schedule and locations for the U.S. Southwest tour of the 2018 International Uranium Film Festival is as follows:
November 29th and 30th and December 1st, Navajo Nation Museum, Hwy 264 & Post Office Loop, Window Rock, Navajo Nation, AZ
December 2nd, location to be announced, Flagstaff, AZ
December 6th, Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave, Albuquerque, NM December 7th, location to be announced, Grants, NM
December 9th, Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe, NM
To date, sixteen films have been selected. For a complete list visit:

Selected films include:


Marshall Islands, 2018, Directors: Dan Lin & Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Poem video, English, 6 min.
A powerful poem video about the legacy of the US atomic bomb tests on the Marshall Islands and the Runit dome nuclear waste site in the Enewetak Atoll.

Dignity at a Monumental Scale

USA, 2018, Director & Producer: Kelly Whalen, Art-documentary, English, 8 min.
When images of everyday Navajo life began appearing at a monumental scale on abandoned buildings, roadside stands and water towers across the Four Corners region, it was a surprise for many in the community to discover it was the work of Chip Thomas (aka Jetsonorama), a long-time resident known by many as a healer of another kind.

Half Life: The Story of America’s Last Uranium Mill

USA, 2016, Director: Justin Clifton, Documentary, 12 min.
In southeastern Utah, not far from many of America’s famed national parks, lies America’s last remaining
uranium mill. After more than 36 years in operation, the leaders of the nearby Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s White Mesa community worry that lax regulations and aging infrastructure are putting their water supply, and their way of life, at risk.


UK, 2017, Directors: Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena, Producer: Lise Autogena, Documentary, Danish and Greenlandic with English subtitles, 30 min.
The film is a work in-progress, forming the first part of the artists’ long-term investigation into the conflicts facing the small, mostly indigenous, community of Narsaq in southern Greenland. Narsaq is located next to the pristine Kvanefjeld mountain, site of one of the richest rare earth mineral resources deposits in the world, and one of the largest sources of uranium. Greenland is a former colony of Denmark, which is now recognized as an “autonomous administrative division” of Denmark, supported economically by the Danish state. Many people see exploitation of mineral deposits as the only viable route to full independence. For generations the farming near Kvanefjeld has been Greenland’s only agricultural industry. This way of life may soon be threatened, as Greenland considers an open pit mine proposed by Greenland Minerals and Energy, an Australian company. The mine would be the fifth-largest uranium mine and second-biggest rare earth extraction operation in the world. Autogena’s and Portway’s film portrays a community divided on the issue of uranium mining. It explores the difficult decisions and trade-offs faced by a culture seeking to escape a colonial past and define its own identity in a globalized world.

NABIKEI (Footprints)

India, 2017, Director Shri Prakash, Documentary, 66 min.
The American Southwest – especially the sovereign Indigenous nations of Acoma, Laguna, and the DinĂ© or Navajo Nation – has a long history of uranium mining. Once home to a booming economy and proudly called the Uranium Capital of the World, these Indian reservations and poor White communities are now littered with old mines, tailings dams, and other uranium contamination, which is the legacy of this deadly industry. On the Navajo Nation alone, there are more than 500 abandoned uranium mine sites that need to be addressed.
This film explores how colonialism, which came to the Southwest with Spanish conquest, has changed face in modern time, as it is played out in a new quest for mineral resources. Contaminated land, water, and air have left these poor communities helpless. Their efforts to gain justice have failed. Indigenous and poverty-stricken communities who suffered the most are trapped and exploited, as new mining companies continue to disregard the health and environment of these people with the lure of a better economy, jobs and new In Situ Leach uranium mining methods. Unfortunately, this is the same sad story repeated in other parts of the world including India, but in India it is the government itself undertaking the enterprise and repeating the same degradation in Jadugoda (Jharkhand).


USA, 2017, Directors: Daria Bachmann & Anna Anderson, Documentary, English, 80 min.
The Repository is an independent journalistic documentary about the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The goal of this documentary is to tell the history of Yucca Mountain and explain the conflicting views on the proposed repository. In 1987, the U.S. Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act designating Yucca Mountain in Nevada's desert as the nation's sole repository for nuclear waste storage. Officials in Nye County, the host of the proposed nuclear waste repository, support the project, but the majority of Nevada's officials, residents and members of the state's delegation oppose the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. While proponents of Yucca Mountain say that the project could boost the economy of the state of Nevada, many scientific, safety, regulatory and political challenges to the project remain to this day. The state of Nevada filed over 200 technical and legal challenges including environmental, safety and transportation concerns with the project. The future of the project now rests on the Trump administration. In January, it allocated $120 million for a restart of the licensing of Yucca Mountain in the budget blueprint. However, the final action on the budget is yet to be taken.

The Safe Side of the Fence

USA. 2015, Director: Tony West, Documentary, English,108 min.
World War II's Manhattan Project required the refinement of massive amounts of uranium, and St. Louis- based Mallinckrodt Chemical Works took on the job. As a result, the chemical company's employees would become some of the most contaminated nuclear workers in history. This documentary explores the legacy that St. Louis is still coping with, from workers who became ill - to the challenges of dealing with the fallout of creating some of the world's first nuclear waste. The story is not unique to St. Louis, as more than 300 facilities across America would become part of the race to build the bomb, and be forced to deal with many of the same issues. A detailed look into what some of the men and women went through inside these plants, and how decisions made in the past affect us all today.

Too Precious to Mine

USA, 2017, Director: Justin Clifton, Documentary, English, 10 min.
The Havasupai Tribe depends on the blue-green waters that emerge in the Grand Canyon for drinking
water. But now, uranium mining on the canyon’s rims threatens the tribe’s existence and its way of life. A 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims around the Grand Canyon is at risk of being overturned by the Trump administration. The Grand Canyon is an irreplaceable natural treasure that draws over 5.5 million visitors to the park each year. Yet, irresponsibly operated uranium mines located on federal public land just miles from the North and South Rims threaten to permanently pollute the Grand Canyon landscape and the greater Colorado River. „The Grand Canyon is the last place on Earth we should mine uranium.

A detailed schedule of dates, times, locations and films shown can be found online at:

In addition, we are delighted to announce that the following Filmmakers will be joining us at various screening locations including Window Rock, Albuquerque or Santa Fe:

Kelly Whalen, Senior Digital Video Producer, KQED Arts. Film: "Dignity at a Monumental Scale"
Chip Thomas. Film: "Dignity at a Monumental Scale"

Dan Lin. Film: "Anointed"

Lise Autogena, Professor of Cross Disciplinary Art at C3RI. Film: KUANNERSUIT / KVANEFJELD

Justin Clifton. Films: "Half Life: The Story of America’s Last Uranium Mill " and "Too Precious to Mine”

Taylor Dunne. Film: "Off Country"

Daria Bachmann. Film: "The Repository"(Daria will be present in Santa Fe)

Shri Prakash. Film: "NABIKEI (Footprints)"

Tony West. Film: "The Safe Side of the Fence"

Other dignitaries who have expressed an interest in joining us in Window Rock include:
Targol Mesbah, PhD, Assistant Professor, Anthropology & Social Change, California Institute of Integral Studies

Libbe HaLevy, Journalist and Radio Producer/Host, Nuclear Hotseat,

About the International Uranium Film Festival:
Since its inception in 2011 the International Uranium Film Festival has traveled around the world showing

documentaries and movies about the risks of nuclear power and uranium. In November 2013 the world’s most unique film festival was hosted for the first time by the Navajo Nation/DinĂ© Nation.

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