laurels icon Best UK Feature Nominee
  • Generation Z, Female Gaze, Discovery
  • 1h 32m
  • Narrative Feature
  • UK Premiere
  • 2019

This film is no longer available. To view the Q&A with filmmakers, please click here.

Emma and her mother are on the run. Traumatised, they find refuge in an isolated retreat where a nuclear power station looms. As Emma builds a relationship with an enigmatic boy, she is forced to navigate a hostile world alone. A tense and haunting tale of a toxic family with a dangerous past.

Catherine Linstrum is a writer-director basted in the UK. She began her career working for the BBC as a documentary director. Her first screenplay, Dreaming of Joseph Lees, was a Fox Searchlight production starring Samantha Morton. Nuclear premiered at Warsaw Film Festival in 2019 and is her feature film debut.

Film Review: After her brother attacks their mother, Emma (Emilia Jones) flees and seeks sanctuary in the shadow of a decommissioned nuclear power station. In this desolate landscape, Emma befriends a mysterious boy (George MacKay - 1917, Captain Fantastic) and comes of age while attempting to escape her toxic family ties and the fallout of the harrowing event. Nuclear has a rich, rewarding vein of allegorical storytelling running through it. The title alone alludes to one of the primary themes, that of familial ties and their explosive potential. The supernatural elements of the story greatly enrich it and unfold in a way that allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Striking cinematography and a standout performance from Emilia Jones make this film a compelling watch. The writing and directing is also highly commendable; though this is Catherine Linstrum’s feature directorial debut, she has a writing credit on California Dreamin', winner of the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes. This is a thought-provoking watch that will stay with you long after viewing. Nick Comley


Media Luna New Films


Live Link

Executive Producer

Adam Partridge

Executive Producer

Mary Burke

Executive Producer

Paul Higgins

Executive Producer

Jim Reeves


Stella Nwimo

Director of Photography

Crystel Fournier

Sound Designer

Glen Gathard

Production Designer

Humphrey Jaeger