Yucca documentary features Pahrump tie

A former reporter for the Pahrump Valley Times has taken the topic of Yucca Mountain from print to the big screen.

Daria Sokolova, who wrote extensively for the Pahrump Valley Times about the turbulent action between government officials, citizens and others on whether Yucca Mountain should harbor the nation’s nuclear waste, is set to have her documentary — “The Repository” — make its Las Vegas debut on Saturday, April 28 at the Sierra Club offices at 3828 Meadows Lane.

Those interested in attending the screening event from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. can RSVP with the Sierra Club at tinyurl.com/ybv6bk2z or head to Sierraclub.org and look for “The Repository” screening. Seating is limited. There is no fee to view the screening.

Film-goers will experience a more-than-60-minute-long documentary that approaches the Yucca Mountain topic in a journalistic style with both sides of the table being represented, Sokolova said.

Sokolova said she spoke with a broad scope of people for the project that took her across the country in her film-making efforts. Politicians, residents, nuclear industry professionals and even individuals who worked on the Yucca Mountain project when it was operational were consulted for the project.

Yucca Mountain has definitely been a hot topic among politicians in the state.

The Trump administration has made several efforts to get funding to restart the licensing process on Yucca Mountain.

In a phone conference call with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, in April, he said that he worked to have funding for Yucca Mountain taken out of the budget bill passed in March, as he had in 2017.

Heller has been a longtime opponent of opening the site to nuclear waste and said he will continue to fight efforts to do so in the next budget bill. The senator is up for re-election in 2018.

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, has also worked against efforts to bring waste to Nevada, as well.

Sentiments by some Nye County politicians have been in the opposite direction of these federal regulators—falling toward support of the effort. Proponents have argued that Yucca’s opening could create a boost to the economy.

Much of the battle over Yucca Mountain began after Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1987. That legislation designated Yucca Mountain as the nation’s sole repository for nuclear waste storage.

Film’s beginnings

Sokolova said she began working on the project after arriving in Nevada nearly three years ago, with film-making efforts starting in early 2016 and culminating near the end of 2017. She is a graduate of Roosevelt University in Illinois, where she studied journalism.

Sokolova spent the early part of her career in the Illinois area after receiving her bachelor’s in journalism in 2013.

More information on Sokolova’s project can be found at TheRepositoryMovie.com. The documentary’s website also has information on Yucca Mountain’s history.

Sokolova is the founder of “The Repository” project. She later added New York-based documentary filmmaker and photographer Anna Anderson and Los Angeles-based music composer Crystal Grooms Mangano to her production team.

Anderson is the founder of Like a Girl Productions—an organization that supports the work of female documentarians, offering those individuals a platform to create and distribute their work.

Mangano has worked as a music editor and music supervisor on several films and TV shows. Her most recent work can be heard in the documentary “Asperger’s Are Us.”

The trio’s work on “The Repository” documentary debuted in Chandler, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix, in mid-April.

Sokolova plans to continue efforts on bringing the film beyond Las Vegas but wasn’t ready to announce anything yet.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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