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Short film, 2018

An exploration of the abandoned ruins of Chernobyl, deserted after the worst nuclear disaster in human history.

Winner of the 2018 Reel Challenge

Chernobyl was made as part of the Reel Film Challenge, a challenge which involves shooting and editing a film in 10 days while traveling from London to Budapest. For the competition in 2018, teammate Pete Davies and I decided to explore the abandoned city of Pripyat near Chernobyl, the location of the 1986 nuclear disaster.

The desolate cityscapes and abandoned buildings are an incredible sight, a time capsule of a not so distant Soviet history that somehow feels more relevant than ever. Old schoolbooks emblazoned with the hammer and sickle, gas masks strewn across a high school floor, or hospital equipment that has been untouched in decades are just a few of the things that make Chernobyl a rare preservation of history, like an open air museum detailing a gruesome chapter in human history.


Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, this film has taken on a whole new meaning and relevance for me, and it has made me view it from a completely different perspective. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone may never be as accessible as it was before, and even if it is, time will continue to run its course. With the abandoned buildings already over 50 years old and decaying more every day, entering them will becoming more and more perilous, until eventually the only things that will remain of them are the recordings in films such as ours.

Winner of the 2018 Reel Challenge

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