Orissa tribe to #Avatar director: now you watch our film

LONDON – Members of a tribe in Orissa who have been battling against a multinational mining company now want the director of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Avatar’ to join their high-profile campaign.

An advertisement placed Monday in Variety, the Hollywood entertainment magazine, informs director James Cameron about the tribe’s fight against the mining company Vedanta Resources – likening it to the story of ‘Avatar.’

The ad says: Appeal to James Cameron: Avatar is fantasy… and real.

The Dongria Kondh tribe in India are struggling to defend their land against a mining company hell-bent on destroying their sacred mountain.

Please help the Dongria. We’ve watched your film – now watch ours, it said referring to a 10-minute documentary film, ‘Mine: Story of a Sacred Mountain,’ made by the British film actress Joanna Lumley.

The advertisement was placed by the international NGO Survival, which said the story of the Dongria Kondh is uncannily similar to that of the Na’vi in Avatar.

The Dongria, who live in the Niyamgiri Hills of Orissa state, have been opposing plans by the British FTSE-100 mining company Vedanta Resources to extract bauxite from the hill which they consider sacred.

Survival director Stephen Corry said: The fundamental story of Avatar – if you take away the multi-coloured lemurs, the long-trunked horses and warring androids – is being played out today in the hills of Niyamgiri.

I do hope that James Cameron will join the Dongria’s struggle to save their sacred mountain and secure their future.