List of Entries

Title Chernobyl, a natural history?
Country France
Organization Camera Lucida Productions (Camera Lucida Productions)

The Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986, and the ensuing rain of nuclear fallout led to the evacuation of 135,000 residents from the surrounding area. The affected areas were essentially abandoned, with the soil heavily contaminated; and yet, today the areas are rich with wildlife and offer one of Europe’s largest natural ecosystems. How do plants and animals flourish despite such high levels of nuclear contamination? This documentary investigates this mystery through interviews with biologists, geneticists, and other scientists, while also exploring the problems of nuclear contamination through the ecology of the wildlife that lives there, using CG animation to present the research in an accessible way.

We are very proud to receive this prize. It is an honor that we share with the entire production team and with broadcasters and scientific institutions that joined us in this adventure. Contemporary science concerning the effects of low-dose radioactivity is complex, with conflicting results and no definitive answers. This topic may be considered too complicated to be dealt with in broadcast programs. Or it may be considered – as we did in this documentary – important to try our best to make this complex scientific issue understandable to the largest audience possible, that this is a matter of general education and a way of contributing, along with many other producers, to a “continuing democracy,” for contemporary science shapes much of our common future. This prize gives us strong and warm encouragement to go further in this direction.
(Antoine Bamas)

Chernobyl was the most severe nuclear plant catastrophe ever recorded at the time. It is now the forefront of scientific research where radioactivity may be witnessed at work, a strange, abandoned world and also a booming natural reserve. We follow the lives of those who are striving to uncover the true consequences of such disasters on life, through clues offered us for tomorrow’s knowledge by this new natural paradise. We are rewarding a gorgeous, provocative documentary in which the unintended consequences of human choices and the resiliency of nature are woven together to turn a difficult subject into a fascinating film. The program provides insight and educational inspiration to further research an intense issue that influences many lives and important choices for the future.