27 Oct 2017 - 23:35
Filmmaker Inarritu awarded Oscar for VR show on migrants
Los Angeles: Acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will be awarded a special Oscar for his virtual reality installation that focuses on the plight of migrants, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday.
Inarritu will receive the golden statuette for his six-minute immersive experience "Carne y Arena" (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible), describing it as "a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling."
The award will be presented to the director and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki at the 9th Annual Governors Awards in Hollywood on November 11.
"Carne y Arena," which is currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as well as the Fondazione Prada in Milan and Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, takes viewers on the harrowing trek many migrants undertake through the Sonoran desert in the US.
As sirens wail, each participant -- barefoot on the sandy ground and wearing VR goggles -- experiences the journey alone, joined only by a small band of virtual people hoping to reach America.
Border guards armed to the teeth separate the men from the women and the children. Their abandoned shoes litter the ground, as one person screams out in pain and a tragedy looms.
The exhibit has proven a huge hit and tickets in Los Angeles have been sold out for months.
"Inarritu'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," Academy president John Bailey said in a statement.
"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.
The Mexican filmmaker won back-to-back Oscars for "Birdman" in 2015 and "The Revenant" in 2016, becoming only the third director to accomplish such a feat.