A movie about the partial nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island could begin filming in central Pennsylvania this spring.
But filmmaker Jill Murphy Long needs your help to make it happen.
For the last few years, Long – a graduate of Central York High School – has been working on a full-length feature film that tells her story of how the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history changed her life.
She was a high school student when the accident occurred almost 40 years ago on March 28, 1979. For years, she assumed there were no lasting effects. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission had reported no deaths or release of radiation.
But when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2012, she couldn’t be so sure, she said.
Long spent months researching the connection between neurological diseases and radiation exposure. And when she found out that more than 50 of her classmates from Central York High School had either died or been diagnosed with cancer or neurological diseases, she was convinced that their health issues were more than a coincidence, she said.
She underwent surgery for her tumor and has since recovered, she said.
For several years, Long has been working on a film called “Meltdown” to share her findings. And now, she said she’s ready to get the cameras rolling.
“The film can’t wait,” she said. “People are dying. I need to make this now.”
Long plans to start filming in York, Colorado and Oregon in the spring with hopes of releasing the film in the spring of 2018, she said.
But before she can get started, she needs money – $20 million to be exact.
So far, Long said she has secured just over $1 million in financing and hopes to secure the rest from a production company. She recently pitched the film to production and distribution companies at the American Film Market in Los Angeles with hopes that at least one will come on board to finance, produce and distribute the movie.
She’s also in talks with casting agencies about lining up some A-list talent for the film, she said.
But while she waits for the majority of funding to come through, Long said she needs money to cover costs now.
Long is hosting a Cooking for a Cause fundraiser to benefit the film this month.
On Feb. 23, participants will have the opportunity to learn about and taste foods from India with Chef Hamir Patel from Hampat Specialty Foods. The menu includes Indian specialties, such as tandoori chicken, simple shrimp and basmati rice with coconut curry for dinner and mango custard with fruit for dessert.
Several locals who have been diagnosed with cancer or neurological diseases since the TMI accident will be in attendance to talk about the movie and its message – the importance of “green” living.
“I want people to be conscious of what nuclear power means,” Long said.
Several items, including salsas, chutneys and reusable grocery bags, will also be for sale.
Those who can’t attend are welcome to make a donation at Eventbrite.com.
Long is hoping to raise a couple thousand dollars to cover costs of the film. Right now, she and nearly 80 volunteers are not getting paid for their work.
“Every little bit helps,” she said.
Long plans to hold several additional fundraisers leading up to the anniversary of TMI in March.
Visit www.meltdownthefilm.com to stay up to date on fundraising efforts and announcements.
If you go
What: Cooking for a Cause
When: 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23
Where: Seventh George, 12 E. Seventh Ave., York
Cost: $35 per person. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.com.
More info: Visit www.meltdownthefilm.com for more info.