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Alejandro González Iñárritu received a special Oscar for Carne y arena

During the annual celebration of the Governors Awards, granted by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States, the Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu received a special Oscar for Carne y arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible); a virtual reality installation that simulates an illegal crossing into the United States.

Alejandro González Iñárritu.

At the hand of John Bailey, president of the Academy, the director of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) accepted the award and dedicated it to immigrants from around the world: “Today, right here, millions of people seeking refuge are virtually present, although physically invisible. I dedicate and receive this beautiful recognition on behalf of all immigrants from Mexico, Central America, Asia, Africa and from all corners of the world whose reality has been ignored and retained by ideologies and definitions that deny them the possibility of being understood and loved,” he said during his speech.

Others awarded with an honorary Oscar during the night, were the filmmakers Charles Burnett, Owen Roizman, Donald Sutherland and the French director Agnès Varda.

The ceremony was also attended by Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and actors Gael García Bernal and Salma Hayek.

Built over four years with Emmanuel Lubezki, Carne Y Arena is an immersive work that confronts the viewer with the reality experienced by Mexican and Central American migrants in their attempt to cross the border with the United States. The installation was premiered at the last Cannes Festival and is currently on display at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).