Alejandro González Iñárritu to receive special Oscar for his work on migrants
Acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu will receive a special Oscar for his installation of virtual reality on the suffering of migrants, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States announced on 27 October.
The academy said González Iñárritu will receive the statuette for his work Carne y Arena, described as a "visionary and powerful narrative experience."
The award will be presented to the director and his head of photography Emmanuel Lubezki at the ninth Annual Governors Awards in Hollywood on 11 November.
Carne y Arena, currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as well as at the Fondazione Prada in Milan and the Tlatelolco University Cultural Center in Mexico, takes viewers through the intricate path of Mexican migrants and Central Americans seeking to reach the United States.
While sirens are playing, each participant — footless in the sandy soil and wearing three-dimensional glasses — experiences the trip alone, with the only company of a virtual group of people waiting to arrive in the United States.
Border guards armed to the teeth separate men from women and children. His abandoned shoes sink to the ground, while a person screams in pain and a tragedy breaks loose.
The exhibition has been very successful and the tickets in Los Angeles have been sold out for months.
"The multimedia art and cinematographic experience of González Iñárritu is deeply emotional and immerses us physically in the world of migrants who cross the desert of the American Southwest at dawn," said in a statement the president of the Academy, John Bailey.
"More than being a creative innovation in the still emerging figure of virtual reality, it connects us viscerally with the politically and socially burning reality of the border between Mexico and the United States," he added.
The Mexican filmmaker won the Oscar for his films Birdman in 2015 and El Renacido (The Revenant) in 2016.