All About Alejandro González Iñárritu…   Leave a comment

Alejandro González Iñárritu…

Alejandro González Iñárritu…

At the San Sebastián International Film Festival
in September 2005
Born Alejandro González Iñárritu
August 15, 1963 (1963-08-15) (age 46)
Mexico City, Mexico
Other name(s) El Negro,
One of the Three Amigos
Occupation Film director, Screenwriter, Producer, Composer
Years active 1995 – present
Spouse(s) María Eladia Hagerman
Domestic partner(s) Guillermo Arriaga,
Alfonso Cuarón,
Guillermo del Toro,
Gustavo Santaolalla (composer),
Rodrigo Prieto (cinematographer),
Brigitte Broch (art director),
Stephen Mirrione (editor)

Alejandro González Iñárritu (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈxandɾo ɡonˈsales iˈɲaritu]) is an award-winning Mexican film director. He was the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director.

Early life and career…

He was born on August 15, 1963, to Hector González Gama and Luz María Iñárritu in Mexico City. He grew up in a middle-class neighborhood on the edge of a dangerous area with a lot of gangs.[1] His father used to be a rich banker, but when Alejandro was five or six years old he went bankrupt and lost everything. Alejandro says his father has been his inspiration because he took care of his family „with the virtue of a warrior”. His father started a business for himself buying fruits and vegetables in a sordid market in order to sell them to restaurants during the day. Even though he faced a lot of economic hardship he was very happy as a child.

He started his career as a DJ in 1984 at the top-rated Mexican radio station WFM. In 1988 he began composing music for six Mexican feature films, including Garra de tigre (1989). He studied filmmaking in Maine and Los Angeles, under Polish film director Ludwik Margules and studied directing under Judith Weston in Los Angeles.

In the nineties he was in charge of the production of Televisa, a Mexican TV company. By the time he was 27 he had become one of their youngest directors. In 1991, after Televisa, he set up the company Zeta Films to produce advertising, short films and television programs. It was at this time that he also started writing and shooting TV commercials.

Path to fame…

His first half-length feature, Detrás del dinero, was produced in 1995 for Televisa and starred Spanish actor/singer Miguel Bosé.

Screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, after 3 years and 36 drafts, ended up with three stories into the feature-length film, Amores perros (2000) starring Gael García Bernal. This gritty look at the underbelly of Mexican life garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film as well as a BAFTA Film Award for „Best Film not in the English Language”, the Critics Week Grand Prize and Young Critics Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival as well as many other awards from festivals and societies around the world.

González Iñárritu made the fifth short („Powder Keg”) in the BMW The Hire series and directed the Mexico segment of the independent feature 11’09″01 September 11 (2002), a collective movie about the influence of 9-11 on the world, along with Claude Lelouch, Shōhei Imamura, Ken Loach, Mira Nair, Amos Gitai and Sean Penn.

Move to Hollywood…

The success of Amores perros led to González Iñárritu directing a second film, this time in the U.S., titled 21 Grams. Again written by Guillermo Arriaga, it starred Benicio del Toro, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Del Toro and Watts received Academy Award nominations for their performances.

His project, Babel, consisted of four stories set in Morocco, Mexico, the United States, and Japan, in four different time frames. It was released in November 2006 and stars Brad Pitt, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, and Koji Yakusho. He earned the Best Director Prize (Prix de la mise en scène) at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Babel would also go on to win the Best Motion Picture in the drama category at the Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2007.

However, González Iñárritu was severely criticized for banning writer Guillermo Arriaga from attending the 2006 Cannes Film Festival after a serious falling out between the two. The dispute is thought to relate to the authorship of González Iñárritu’s previous film 21 Grams; insiders have stated that Arriaga wanted the screenplay to be credited as a collaborative effort, while González Iñárritu claimed sole credit as the author of the film. Sources in the industry believe that it is unlikely that the pair will ever work together again.

Babel received 7 nominations for the 79th Annual Academy Awards, including for Best Picture and Achievement in Directing,

He made another short film, ANNA, which was screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival inside Chacun son cinéma.

He will act as producer for Rudo y Cursi which Alfonso Cuarón’s brother Carlos Cuarón will direct, starring Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna in this comedy-drama about a love/hate relationship between two brothers who are both professional soccer-players.

He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife María Eladia Hagerman de González and their two children María Eladia and Eliseo.


Feature films…

Death Trilogy

a series of three films that shares the theme of death.

  • Amores perros (2000)

A highly acclaimed film from 2000 set in Mexico City. Three individuals are connected by the event of a violent car crash. A prominent theme in this movie are dogs.

  • 21 Grams (2003)

The 2003 film was nominated for two acting Academy Awards. In this particular tale, three individuals are again connected by the tragic event of a car accident.

  • Babel (2006)

Taking place in Mexico, Japan, Morocco, and the United States, this interconnecting story tells of four families that face tragedy simply through the purchasing of a rifle. This movie earned multiple Oscar nominations.

  • Biutiful (2010) (now filming)

Short films…

  • Detrás del dinero (1995) (TV)
  • El Timbre (1996)
  • Powder Keg (2001) („The Hire” series for BMW)
  • 11’09″01 September 11 (2002) (segment „Mexico„)
  • Chacun son cinema (2007) (segment „ANNA„)

Awards and nominations…

He has been nominated for many awards including: Academy Award, Palme d’Or, Golden Lion, European Film Award, DGA Award, PGA Award, César Award, Silver Ribbon, Prix de la mise en scène, BAFTA, Ariel Award, Golden Globe, David di Donatello and ALFS Award.

  • Amores Perros (2000)
    • Cannes Film Festival Critics Week Grand Prize Winner
    • Cannes Film Festival Young Critics Award – Best Feature Winner
  • 11’09”01 September 11 (2002)
    • Venice Film Festival UNESCO Award Winner
  • 21 Grams (2003)
    • Venice Film Festival – Official Selection
  • Babel (2006)
    • Cannes Film Festival Prix de la mise en scène Winner
    • Cannes Film Festival Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Winner

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