Bid to bridge gap between experts’ views, people’s knowledge

First Uranium Film Festival in city begins today


By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: With an aim to bridge the gap between experts’ views and independent knowledge of people on nuclear energy, a Uranium Film Festival showcasing films based on experiences of people coming in contact with nuclear energy all over the world wi.

The organizers of this travelling film festival-India Chapter chose Shillong to screen their films and documentaries considering the fact that Meghalaya acquires an important place in the uranium map of the country.

The KSU will host the two-day Uranium Film Festival- Travelling India which will kick off at Hotel Majestic here on Thursday. Altogether 14 films will be screened during the Festival.

“Uranium is considered as a green and clear energy yet there is a myth linked with this nuclear energy giving rise to various questions and the answers of which has no clear cut dimension,” festival partner and renowned journalist and filmmaker Shriprakash told reporters here on Wednesday.

Highlighting that individual judgement and understanding on the issue weighs more than expert opinions Prakash said the decision-making on nuclear energy by the citizens should come from independent knowledge sources.

“We should learn from experiences of the communities of the past and also from communities who live sustainable lives to take new decision. We cannot simply leave all these issues to technocrats, corporate houses, bureaucrats and politicians,” Shriprakash said.

A festival director from Brazil, Norbert G Suchanek said the first International Uranium Film Festival started in May 2011 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a motive to make people aware of issues pertaining to nuclear energy and radioactivity.

“Today, films are the best way to pass on information to the people and since uranium is a global issue, we have decided to spread the message on the topic to a large audience,” Suchanek said adding that ‘independent information is the basis for independent decisions’.

Laying emphasis on the risk of taking the ‘nuclear path’, the festival director reiterated that, “Societies and people have the right to choose whether they want to follow the nuclear road or not.” Stating that very less information is being disseminated by the government, Suchanek said good films on uranium and nuclear energy can enhance the understanding of the people on the issue.

Festival co-director, Marcia Gomes de Oliveira from Brazil said while some media outlets in India have been trying to bridge this gap, there is still much scope for improvement.

“By organising this festival as a major event, we will move beyond debates, focusing on the safety issues and major accidents and initiate new thoughts,” she said. Oliveira also called upon the filmmakers of the State to work on such complicated issues. Besides film makers, she also urged the academicians to take part in the festival with the sole purpose of gathering the real deal of uranium mining and thereby impart the same to their students.

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