Awaiting the next "Avatar"-like film? You’ll have to wait another three years or so. That’s according to Avatar director James Cameron, who took home the Best Feature Film award at the 20th Annual Environmental Media Awards ceremony at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif., on Saturday night.
“I can’t wait to make another 'Avatar' film in another three years or so,” Cameron said in his acceptance speech. “This is such a critical time, I think, in the history of the environmental movement, and there’s so much that needs to happen right now and the fight is escalating.”
In a nine-minute long acceptance speech, James said that making "Avatar" amped up his environmental work. “The interesting thing about 'Avatar' for me is that the work didn’t end when the movie came out,” Cameron said. “In a funny way, it just began, because the film resonated around the world with environmental groups and activists and with people in the indigenous community who came forward and approached me and said 'This film is important to us, it resonates with us’ or in the case of some of the indigenous leaders, ‘This is our reality. We are fighting the bulldozers everyday and we’re fighting for our habitat and our culture and life.’ They asked for ways in which we could get involved with them and do something jointly. So it’s really become this amazing journey.”
Cameron pointed to the importance of getting people who have an emotional connection to the film to taking action to address environmental concerns. “The movie, as much of a message film as it is, it doesn’t give you anything truly to act on. It doesn’t teach you the way a documentary does. It just creates an emotional reaction, maybe an emotional connection to nature that we’re losing in our lives. Maybe to some people it creates a sense that we need to do something, that we need to do something soon. But it doesn’t tell you what to do, so there’s a lot of work that needs to be done for me in parallel to that.”
One piece of that work is defeating California Prop. 23 — an initiative to halt California’s landmark global warming law (AB 23) — which comes up for a vote next month. Cameron says he’s fighting this proposition with his own money.
“The fight is in front of us, and it’s really time to really double down. I mean, the fight’s been brought to us in our own home turf with Prop 23,” Cameron said, deriding Valero and Tesoro, the Texas companies that are the primary backers of this California proposition. “The AB 32 legislation is such important, landmark legislation on climate change and a clean energy economy that we’ve just got to win this one and we’ve got to win it resoundingly. So I’ve dumped a bunch of money into that, which I don’t normally do — I just feel like it’s such a line in the sand fight that we have to win.”
You'll be able to hear Cameron's entire acceptance speech when it starts streaming on the National Geographic Channel on YouTube starting Oct. 23.