This weekend, Avatar director James Cameron spoke at an assembly gathered in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon to speak on topics ranging from sustainability and the power of cinema, to the prospects that there will be a sequel to his blockbuster, green-themed film. No stranger to the environment cause, or the film industry for that matter, former Vice President Al Gore was on hand as well to provide his thoughts on issues related to preserving the Amazon rainforest, and to offer up a resounding "Please!" when asked if he'd like to see Avatar 2.The filmmaker and ex-politician were just two in attendance at the International Forum on Sustainability, which brings together business leaders and intellectuals to discuss environmental issues. The meeting was located in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, in the center of the world's largest rainforest.
When asked about whether he considered filming Avatar in the Amazon, which so closely resembles the film's fictional forests, Cameron said "We did the (first) movie in computer graphics," largely for fear that filming in the rainforest may have been harmful to its ecosystems. He added that any future film wouldn't be filmed in the Amazon either.
Asked for his thoughts on the where the sequel should be shot, Al Gore said:
Wherever it is filmed, I support (a sequel to Avatar). I never liked a movie so much.
Much like Gore's popular film, An Inconvenient Truth, Cameron believes that Avatar has raised awareness of environmental issues and demonstrates that the world is ready to combat climate change. "Extraordinary action," the director said, is necessary for the preservation of our Earth's ecosystems, making reference to his latest film:
We are the owners of our future and we must be warriors of our planet.
The Amazon rainforest and the threats it faces were discussed as well, with Cameron urging Brazil's President Lula to reject any policy that may harm the forests or the livelihoods of the people who live within it. "Every time one of these tribes disappears, we lose something fundamental in our history," he said.
Gore reiterated his defense of the Amazon, saying that funding aimed at protecting it should not cease. Brazil, he said, should continue to offer incentives to locals in exchange for their help in preserving the forest, rather than profit from destruction--noting the illogical nature of deforestation:
Selling the forest for the prices of wood would be like selling computer chips by the value of silicon.
On hand at the meeting were representatives from indigenous Amazonian tribes who, along with Gore and Cameron, concluded the International Forum on Sustainability by signing the "Charter of the Amazon," a statement of support for the preservation of the rainforest.
Despite the hoopla surrounding Cameron's attendance at the meeting, the filmmaker sees his role in creating awareness-raising films like Avatar, and any possible sequel, as critical for the cause.
I will not pretend to be a scientist or an expert, but it may be necessary for an artist to talk about climate change.
With reporting from Folha and Globo Globo Amazônia
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