Documentary Film Screening: Burned - Protecting the Protectors

Thursday, September 21, 2023
7:00pm to 8:00pm

This event is part of the Southern Circuit Film Series event series.

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image of firefighter in the foreground with fire in the background

Film poster of Burned


Thursday, September 21, 2023
7:00pm to 8:00pm


Auditorium, Hill Library

About This Event

The true story of one person's quest to understand decades of firefighter cancer.

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. 

We are delighted that the film's director, Elijah Yetter-Bowman, will join us in-person for the screening and for the post-screening discussion. We will also be joined by Dr. R. Bryan Ormond, assistant professor at NC State's Textile Protection and Comfort Center, and Katy May, Co-Director, Center for Human Health and the Environment and Director, Center for Environmental and Health Effects of PFAS.

Runtime 29 minutes. Watch the trailer here.


About Elijah: Award-winning storyteller & filmmaker Elijah Yetter-Bowman (they/them) 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. They have received numerous awards including the Longleaf 2023 “Best Documentary Overall” award, Miller/Packan Documentary Film award, the Footcandle Film Society Award, the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship and earned the title of ‘Kentucky Colonel’ by Governor Beshear in 2022. Elijah’s films have screened internationally across hundreds of venues have have been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. They have served as a guest speaker and keynote at locations including Duke University, Notre Dame University, the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference, and the NC Science Museum.

NC State University Libraries is a proud Screening Partner of South Arts’ 2023-24 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers connects US-based documentary filmmakers with communities throughout the South for screenings and conversations around important stories and the art of filmmaking. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts, a regional arts organization, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about Southern Circuit please visit

National Endowment for the Arts logoSouth Arts logo


Contact Information

Marian Fragola


Free and open to the public.


If assistive technology, live captioning, or other accommodations would improve your experience at this event, please contact us. We encourage you to contact us early about this to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.