It’s back! Our celebration of indie movie podcasts this week is looking at a show with an Avatar flavour to it…
Back in 2009, a little movie called Avatar came out. You might have heard of it. The long-gestating science fiction epic from director James Cameron, based on a treatment originally written by Cameron back in 1994, would become the highest grossing movie of all time – repeatedly – and not only was a sequel inevitable, but so was a fandom.
To celebrate the release of the long-awaited sequel Avatar: The Way Of Water (out in UK cinemas right now!), it makes perfect sense to highlight a British movie podcast who not only focuses on the world of Pandora, but also James Cameron’s journey to creating it, and that’s Sivako: Road to Avatar.
Sivako: Road To Avatar, hosted by Shaun Alexander, started in May 2022 with the release of the first teaser trailer for Avatar: The Way Of Water. Avatar’s success, both critically and commercially, seemed like the perfect focal point for Shaun to look into the film industry as a whole, as well as chart the incredible rise of Avatar to becoming the highest grossing movie ever made. From James Cameron’s more humble beginnings, all the way through to the 13-year journey to bring Avatar: The Way Of Water to the screen, there’s no doubting the spectacle of the Avatar world, and its strong roots in Cameron’s frequent themes of family, exploration, militarism and the over-reliance on technology.
Like most of us in 2009/2010, Shaun saw Avatar in the cinema and was amazed at the visual mastery of the 3D world. He would then visit Pandora: The World Of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida; a place where you can discover Na’vi culture, art, food, and journey deep into the bioluminescent rainforest. Even the name of his podcast means something. Sivako itself is a Na’vi word, meaning “rise to the challenge”, and this is what Shaun intends to do with Sivako: Road to Avatar.
It brings us on neatly to Shaun’s recommended episode of Sivako: Road To Avatar, which is all about learning the Na’vi language. Fans across the world are so dedicated to Pandora, that they have deciphered the Na’vi language used in the film and across all other media, and it’s even taught as a language. The positivity of fandom knows no bounds!
Despite Avatar’s naysayers, Shaun appreciates the cultural impact Avatar has, and continues to have, on its advances in visual effects and its immense worldbuilding. Love him or hate him, James Cameron has built a world of stunning beauty, and a fictional indigenous people with its own culture, community and traditions that even Cameron himself as admitted is there to provoke public conversation about social, political, cultural and religious themes.
Shaun brings his passion and joy for Avatar not only to his podcast, but by appearing on other podcasts in the run up to the release of Avatar: The Way of Water. His positivity is infectious. You’ll want to walk this road with him. If you’re interested into returning to Pandora, and are planning to see Avatar: The Way Of Water this week, rise to the challenge and delve into Sivako: Road To Avatar first!
Recommended episode: Episode 21 – Learning Na’vi with LearnNavi.org – (14 October 2022) – https://open.spotify.com/episode/5rwutjHNg7dB1wKzTJRFda?si=ElYNIJluRp6Qgy-0UkLORQ
Sivako: Road to Avatar can be found at: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/DKsayCOiJvb
And followed at:
All episodes of Sivako: Road to Avatar are available and can be listened to or downloaded from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.
Are you a British movie podcast who would like to be featured on Film Stories? We welcome all suggestions and requests, but we especially want to hear from you if you’re female, BIPOC, non-binary, LGBTQIA+ or have a disability. Email Em – verbaldiorama at gmail co uk (Just remove the spaces and add the ‘@’ and the dots, but don’t send spam. She’s vegetarian.)
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