Burned: Protecting the Protectors

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The true story of one person's quest to understand decades of firefighter cancer. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer after a career in firefighting, but she couldn't shake a sense that there was more to the story. Cancer has been the leading cause of death among firefighters for decades. They are told it is due to toxic byproducts of smoke "the products of combustion" yet fires are increasingly rare for firefighters. In fact, the majority of calls are medical yet cancer rates are at an all-time high. Diane Cotter wondered if something else could be at play and with the help of many including a nuclear physicist, it turned out that she was right.

Filmmaker Biographies

Elijah Yetter-Bowman (they/them) (Director) is an award-winning storyteller & filmmaker who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina as a curious problem solver. They attended UNC Chapel Hill to pursue a career in public health but saw that most complex issues lacked creative communication. They founded Ethereal Films to help solve problems with media, storytelling, and impact campaigns. Their work focuses on interdisciplinary action to address major social issues. Their work has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and Telegram.



Monday, September 18, 2023: Clemson, SC - The City of Clemson Arts Center
Wednesday, September 20, 2023: Winston-Salem, NC - a/perture cinema 
Thursday, September 21, 2023: Raleigh, NC - NC State University Libraries 
Friday, September 22, 2023: Wilmington, NC - University of North Carolina at Wilmington