Alejandro González Iñárritu

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is González and the second or maternal family name is Iñárritu.
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu with a camera in production Cropped.jpg
González Iñárritu during the production of Biutiful, 2008.
Born (1963-08-15) August 15, 1963 (age 51)
Mexico City, Mexico
Other names El Negro
One of the Three Amigos
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, film producer, composer
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) María Eladia Hagerman

Alejandro González Iñárritu (born August 15, 1963) is a Mexican film director, producer, screenwriter, and composer. González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing, for Babel in 2007.[1] He is also the first Mexican-born director to have won the Prix de la mise en scene, the best director award at Cannes.[2]

His five feature films – Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006), Biutiful (2010) and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) – have garnered wide acclaim and numerous accolades including Academy Award nominations. In 2015, he won the Academy Award for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture for Birdman.

Early life and career[edit]

Alejandro González Iñárritu was born in Mexico City, the son of Luz María Iñárritu and Hector González Gama.[3]

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship at the age of 16 and 18, González Iñárritu worked his way across Europe and Africa.[4][5] He himself has noted that these early travels as a young man have had a great influence on him as a filmmaker.[6] The setting of his films have often been in the places he visited during this period.

After his travels, González Iñárritu returned to Mexico City and majored in communications at Universidad Iberoamericana.[7] In 1984, he started his career as a radio host at the Mexican radio station WFM, a rock and eclectic music station. In 1988, he became the director of the station. [8] Over the next five years, González Iñárritu spent his time interviewing rock stars, transmitting live concerts, and making WFM the number one radio station in Mexico. From 1987 to 1989, he composed music for six Mexican feature films.[9] He has stated that he believes music has had a bigger influence on him as an artist than film itself.[10]

In the nineties, González Iñárritu created Z films with Raul Olvera in Mexico.[11] Under Z Films, he started writing, producing and directing short films and advertisements.[12] Making the final transition into T.V and film directing, he studied under well-known Polish theater director Ludwik Margules, as well as Judith Weston in Los Angeles.[13][14]

Path to Fame[edit]

In 1995, González Iñárritu wrote and directed his first T.V pilot for Z Films, called ""Detras del dinero"", - ["Behind the Money"], starring Miguel Bosé.[15] Z Films went on to be one of the biggest and strongest film production companies in Mexico, launching seven young directors in the feature film arena. In 1999, González Iñárritu directed his first feature film "Amores perros", written by Guillermo Arriaga. [16] "Amores perros" explored Mexican society in Mexico City told via three intertwining stories. In 2000, "Amores perros" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Critics Weeks Grand Prize.[17] It also introduced audiences for the first time to Gael García Bernal. "Amores perros" went on to be nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.


After the success of Amores Perros, González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga revisited the intersecting story structure of Amores perros in González Iñárritu's second film, 21 Grams [18] The film starred Benicio del Toro, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn [19] , and was presented at the Venice Film Festival, winning the Volpi Cup for actor Sean Penn [20]. At the 2004 Academy Awards, Del Toro and Watts received nominations for their performances [21].

In 2005 González Iñárritu embarked on his third film, Babel, set in 4 countries on 3 continents, and in 4 different languages. Babel consists of four stories set in Morocco, Mexico, the United States, and Japan[22] . The film stars Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Adriana Barraza. The majority of the rest of the cast, however, was made up of non-professional actors and some new actors, such as Rinko Kikuchi [23] . It was presented at Cannes 2006, where González Iñárritu earned the Best Director Prize (Prix de la mise en scène)[24]. Babel was released in November 2006 and received seven nominations at the 79th Annual Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director[25] . Babel went on to win Best Motion Picture in the drama category at the Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2007 [26]. Gustavo Santaolalla won the Academy Award that year for Best Original Score[27].

After his third Hollywood film Babel, González Iñárritu and his writing partner Guillermo Arriaga professionally parted ways, following González Iñárritu barring Arriaga from the set during filming (Arriaga told the Los Angeles Times in 2009 "It had to come to an end, but I still respect [González Iñárritu].")[28]

In 2008 and 2009, González Iñárritu directed and produced Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem, written by González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, and Nicolas Giacobone [29] . The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2010 [30]. Bardem went on to win Best Actor (shared with Elio Germano for La nostra vita) at Cannes [31]. Biutiful is González Iñárritu’s first film in his native Spanish since his debut feature Amores perros. For the second time in his career his film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards [32]. It was also nominated for the 2011 Golden Globes in the category of Best Foreign Film, for the 2011 BAFTA awards in the category of Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Actor [33]. Javier Bardem’s performance was also nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor[34].

In 2014, González Iñárritu directed Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Andrea Riseborough. The film is Iñárritu's first comedy. Birdman is about an actor who played an iconic superhero, and who tries to revive his career by doing a play based on the Raymond Carver short story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. The film was released on October 17, 2014.[35][36]

In April 2014, it was announced that González Iñárritu's next film as a director will be The Revenant, which he co-wrote with Mark L. Smith. It is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Punke. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter. Shooting began in September 2014 for a December 25, 2015 release.[37][38][39][40][41][42] The Revenant is being filmed in Alberta and B.C.[43] with production scheduled to wrap in February 2015. The film will be a 19th century historical period drama, and is described as a "gritty thriller" about a fur trapper who seeks revenge against a group of men who robbed and abandoned him after he was mauled by a grizzly bear[36]


On October 4, 2012, Facebook released a González Iñárritu-directed brand film titled "The Things That Connect Us" to celebrate the social network reaching one billion users.[44]


Alejandro González Iñarritu

Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2001 Amores perros Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
2007 Babel Best Picture Nominated
Best Director Nominated
2011 Biutiful Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
2015 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Picture Won
Best Director Won
Best Original Screenplay Won

AACTA International Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2015 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Film Won
Best Direction Won
Best Screenplay Won

British Academy Film Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2002 Amores perros Best Foreign Language Film Won
2007 Babel Best Film Nominated
David Lean Award for Direction Nominated
2011 Biutiful Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
2015 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated

Cannes Film Festival[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2000 Amores perros Critics Week Grand Prize Won
Young Critics Award – Best Feature Won
2006 Babel Palme d'Or Nominated
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Won
Best Director Won
2010 Biutiful Palme d'Or Nominated

Directors Guild of America Award[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2007 Babel Outstanding Directing – Feature Film Nominated
2015 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Outstanding Directing – Feature Film Won

Golden Globe Award[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2001 Amores perros Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
2006 Babel Best Motion Picture – Drama Won
Best Director Nominated
2015 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Won

Independent Spirit Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2002 Amores perros Best Foreign Film Nominated
2004 21 Grams Special Distinction Award Won
2015 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Film Won
Best Director Nominated

Producers Guild of America Award[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2007 Babel Best Theatrical Motion Picture Nominated
2015 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Theatrical Motion Picture Won

Venice Film Festival[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2002 11'09"01 September 11 UNESCO Award Won
2003 21 Grams Golden Lion Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Academy Awards Best Director - Facts & Trivia". Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to Receive Sundance Institute's Vanguard Leadership Award". The Hollywood Reporter. January 14, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ Agencias / El Siglo De Torreón (2014-08-15). "1963: El mundo recibe a Alejandro González Iñárritu, internacional cineasta mexicano". Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
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  28. ^ Whipp, Glenn. "Guillermo Arriaga tells his story". 
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  35. ^ Shaw-Williams, H. "Michael Keaton Will Poke Fun at Batman Persona in ‘Birdman’". Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  36. ^ a b "Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro González Iñárritu Commit To September Start For New Regency’s ‘The Revenant’". Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  37. ^ "Leonardo DiCaprio will make his return in The Revenant". Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  38. ^ "Tom Hardy in Talks for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘The Revenant’". Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  39. ^ "Tom Hardy Joins Leonardo DiCaprio In Revenge Thriller ‘The Revenant’". Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  40. ^ "‘We’re the Millers" Will Poulter Joins Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Revenant’". Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  41. ^ "Leonardo DiCaprio’s Survival Drama ‘The Revenant’ Attracts Megan Ellison’s Annapurna". 11 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  42. ^ "Release Dates: ‘The Revenant,’ ‘Child 44,’ ‘The Vatican Tapes’". 
  43. ^ "Leo DiCaprio "The Revenant" Open Casting Call in Canada". Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  44. ^ "Facebook runs first ad as it reaches 1 billion users". Creative Review. October 4, 2012. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  45. ^ "nthposition online magazine: Globalism and the films of Alejandro González Iñárritu". Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  46. ^ "And So it Begins...: Top 10 Unconventional Trilogies". 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  47. ^ Naran Ja. YouTube. 

External links[edit]