India: Survival's "real Avatar" film scoops award


Survival International’s film ‘Mine: Story of a Sacred Mountain’ has won the award for ‘Best Short’ in the category of International Human Rights at the Artivist Film Festival to be held in Hollywood.

Poster for Survival International film

Mine narrated by renowned British actress and activist, Joanna Lumley, depicts the struggle of the Dongria Kondh tribe of Orissa, India, to save their sacred mountain from Vedanta Resources’ proposed open pit bauxite mine. In August, the Dongria Kondh won an historic victory as India’s environment minister blocked the controversial mine. The story quickly drew parallels with James Cameron's epic blockbuster Avatar that told the story of the Na'vi (humanoids on a distant planet) whose forest home was being destroyed by space-travelling humans hunting for minerals.

Survival International was at the forefront of a global campaign against Vedanta’s mine for several years, with the film playing a crucial role and they estimate Mine has been seen by over 650,000 people around the world.

Survival’s US Coordinator, Tess Thackara, who will accept the award, said today: ‘We are very honored to have been awarded this prize. Mine was an integral part of our campaign for the Dongria Kondh and shows what an invaluable part film can play in human rights advocacy. We hope all those inspired by Mine will continue to support other tribal peoples around the world.’

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