The drama Valley of the Gods (Dolina Bogów) written and directed by Lech Majewski, starring Josh Hartnett, John Malkovich, Bérénice Marlohe, John Rhys-Davies, Jaime Ray Newman and Laura Ecas is the winner of the Best Feature Movie Award at the International Uranium Film Festival (IUFF) in Berlin 2020.
Juror Timo Jacobs commented, “Since the 1940s, the Navajo, who call themselves Diné, have suffered from uranium mining and its radioactive legacy. More than 500 abandoned uranium mines and unsecured tailings contaminate soil, air and water of the Navajo Nations with radioactive and toxic elements. Any film that deals with this tragedy, which is largely ignored by the public, deserves the attention of the Uranium Film Festival. This is especially true for the feature movie Valley of the Gods. Lech Majewski shot his film with the greatest respect for the Navajo Nation and tried to convey the topic from their point of view. Even more: Director Lech Majewski managed to win over well-known film stars such as John Malkovich and Josh Hartnett for his film, which makes it all the more valuable. Valley of the Gods can therefore bring the question of uranium mining and its disastrous consequences for the Navajo to Hollywood. This brings the topic closer to a world that has so far been almost impossible to reach through documentary films. For this reason alone, Lech Majewski deserves an award from the Uranium Film Festival.”
The Uranium Film Festival jury gave the Best Feature Documentary Award to the Australian-Italian documentary Balentes – The Brave Ones (Balentes – i coraggiosi) directed by Lisa Camillo.
“The film deals with a central, highly topical question of the international peace and environmental movement: environmental destruction through war and other military activities. This is done using the example of Sardinia, where this can be seen particularly clearly,” commented juror Prof. Manfred Mohr for the Uranium Film Festival.
Honorable Mentions went to the German documentary About the Meaning of Everything (Vim Sinn des Ganzen) directed by Claus Biegert, the documentary The Soviet Garden (Grădina Sovietică) directed by Dragoș Turea from Moldova and the animation documentary Day of the Western Sunrise directed by Keith Reimink.
“It was really good. Despite the peculiar circumstances because of Covid-19 safety, the IUFF Berlin 2020 was definitely one of our most successful festivals,” says Berlin-based Uranium Film Festival producer Jutta Wunderlich.