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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to Be Awarded Special Oscar
Oct 31, 2017 by: WENN
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is to be honored with a special Oscar for his work on a new virtual reality installation.
The rare award is being given to the director to recognize a "visionary and powerful experience in storytelling" for his work on the new project.
Carne y Arena (Virtually present, Physically invisible) tells the true story of migrants trekking across the Sonorian desert in the U.S.
It was first shown at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and is currently on display in Los Angeles, Milan and Mexico City.
Viewers wear virtual reality headsets for the six-and-a-half minute experience, in which they walk alone and barefoot across sand, joined by virtual migrants hoping to reach America, while border guards patrol the area.
Inarritu met and interviewed Central American and Mexican refugees while researching the project, and added: "Their life stories haunted me." Carne y Arena, which means flesh and sand, was a personal project for the director who wanted viewers "to go through a direct experience walking in the immigrants' feet, under their skin, and into their hearts."
The 54-year-old Mexican filmmaker won the best director Oscars in 2016 for The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and the previous year for Birdman.
His honor for Carne y Arena is thought to be the first special Oscar awarded since one for animated movie Toy Story in 1996.
John Bailey, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - which organizes the Oscars--said Inarritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki had "opened for us new doors of cinematic perception."
"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 US-Mexico border," he added.
Inarritu and Lubezki will receive the special award at the 9th Annual Governors' Awards in Hollywood on November 11.
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