Alejandro G. Inarritu is getting a special Oscar…
The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to give a special honorary Oscar to the 54-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s extraordinary virtual reality installation Carne y Arena.
It will be presented at the upcoming Governors Awards on November 11 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
This joins previously announced Governors Award honorees this year including actor Donald Sutherland, director Agnes Varda, cinematographer Owen Roizman and filmmaker Charles Burnett.
In making the announcement of the Oscar to this unique achievement — full name: Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) — the Academy said it was in recognition of a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling. It was first unveiled at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May in a nearby airport hangar where I was among the lucky ones to experience it. And experience is the word.
“The Governors of the Academy are proud to present a special Oscar to Carne y Arena, in which Alejandro Iñárritu and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have opened for us new doors of cinematic perception,” said Academy president John Bailey. “Carne y Arena, Iñárritu’s multimedia art and cinema experience, is a deeply emotional and physically immersive venture into the world of migrants crossing the desert of the American southwest in early dawn light. More than even a creative breakthrough in the still emerging form of virtual reality, it viscerally connects us to the hot-button political and social realities of the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Los Angeles residents currently have the opportunity to see Carne y Arena as it is on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as at Fondazione Prada in Milan, and Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City. It’s a collaboration between Iñárritu, Lubezki, producer Mary Parent, Legendary Entertainment, Fondazione Prada, ILMxLAB, and Emerson Collective.
The Oscar will be Inarritu’s fifth Academy Award. He won three for Birdman including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay as well as becoming only the second helmer in 65 years to win back-to-back awards when he won Director again for 2015’s The Revenant.