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Travelling International Uranium Film Festival reaches Manipal – The Manipal Journal
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Travelling International Uranium Film Festival reaches Manipal

Manipal: In an attempt to enlighten students on the subjects pertaining to nuclear energy and its hazards, Travelling International Uranium Film Festival 2013 reached the student-town. The festival was organised by Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) in association with Manipal Film Study Centre (MFSC) at A/C Seminar Hall, Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) on January 19 and 20.

The two-day film festival witnessed international screenings and discussions on films like – The Third Nuclear Bomb – The Veteran´s Accusation (Italy); Jadugoda – The Black Magic (India); The Red Button (Poland); When the Dust Settles (Australia) etc., which invigorated the perils caused by nuclear (Uranium) mining and its usage.

On asking the festival director, Norbert G. Suchanek about the amount of change brought by the films showcased, he said, “Activism is going on for the last 20 years and there is still nuclear development taking place in the wrong direction. Obviously it did not reach the population. We would rather want to make this as a glamorous festival to attract celebrities and in turn attain the attention of multitudes. If we can bring through by any means possible this involvement to the wider masses then there is a chance of change.”

On the other hand, commenting on the sensitivity of the topics raised by the festival, Marcia Gomes de Oliveira, Co-director of the festival said, “People do not say much because these are sensitive topics. You need to know everything about uranium mining, government policies and individual struggles before remarking on the issue. Also one needs to re-educate people about it. This is because mass media may not provide you with the right information.”

Commencing its journey in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the film festival travelled across Europe and India in cities like New Delhi, Shillong and Ranchi before it was showcased in Manipal. The film festival was attended by many enthusiasts, including students of Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH); Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) and Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT).

“There is absolutely no point of screening hard hitting documentaries, if there is no change in the prevailing scenarios or people’s thinking. Personally, there was not much of a change in my thought process or outlook towards the issues relating to the perils of nuclear energy. Neither, did it intensify my existing knowledge on the issue,” said Ravi Prakash, a software engineer at Robosoft in Udupi.

Arghadeep Hazra, a second year Electronics & Electrical Engineering (EEE) student from MIT said, “Films are one of the most effective ways to create awareness. I am much more sensitised about the issue now, than I really was before attending this film festival. The way the facts have been laid out, in front of me accompanied by the comments and discussions, has helped me mould an opinion of my own about the burning topic.”

National award winning documentary maker Shri Prakash; Vardesh Hirgange, Director, MIC; and Dr. M V Kamath, Honorary Director, MIC, were among the other dignitaries present for the two-day event.

 

Sub-edited by Urvashi Ajmera 

Tarush Bhalla

tarush@themanipaljournal.com

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