CIFF Selects presents free Unity screening

Jan 24, 2014
Tami Lowrance, mayor of Naturita, Colo., strolls by the sign that gives 2013 documentary “Uranium Drive-In” its name.

Unity — In partnership with Camden International Film Festival’s CIFF Selects, Unity College will screen “Uranium Drive-In” Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, 42 Depot St. The free screening will be followed by a Skype Q&A with director Susan Beraza, led by CIFF founder Ben Fowlie. Admission is free, sponsored by Unity College.

The town of Naturita, Colo. — population 519 — is more than 60 miles from the nearest traffic light. Until the mid-1980s, this area was booming from decades of uranium mining; today, it is practically a ghost town. Many of the businesses are boarded up, unemployment is rampant and even the elementary school is for sale.

Enter a company called Energy Fuels, which brings plans to build a new uranium mill in the area. Most of the residents could not be happier. The Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill will be the first to be built in the United States in 30 years. Its construction promises to bring back prosperity to a region with a proud and powerful mining history.

While industry spokespersons and many residents insist today's mining and mill methods will now be "clean and green," not everyone agrees. An environmental group from a nearby resort town steps in to stop the mill from being built.

“Uranium Drive-In” is a character-driven story addressing some of the most important and controversial issues facing our nation. What happens when a community, suffering a devastated economy, is presented with an opportunity — with risks — to create jobs and reclaim its lost prosperity? The film offers no easy answers, but aims instead to capture personal stories and paint a portrait of the lives behind this nuanced and complex issue.

CIFF Selects is an outreach program of the Camden International Film Festival, recognized as one of the top 25 film festivals in the world for documentary films and filmmakers. For more information, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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