Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman director

The Oscar for Best Picture Gets a Latino Twist

The night of The Oscars 2015, culminated with a “Latino” twist , all thanks to the movie “Birdman” or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which won 4 Oscars.  The film was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, a Mexican filmmaker who began his career in the advertising world with a interesting background in radio, tv, advertising spots, and is now an Oscar award winner.

The Oscars Awards and the night of Birdman

The film “Birdman” received a total of 4 Oscars in the 87th Academy Awards Ceremony.

The first Oscar for Best Cinematography was received thanks to the work of Emmanuel Lubezki, also Mexican and second-time Oscar winner, picking up his first win last year, thanks to Gravity.

The second Oscar of the night went for Best Original Screenplay to Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolás Giacobone and Armando Bo, which was anotehr win for Latinos, as both Giacobone and Bo are Argentinian.

Then came the moment to crown Best Director, with Alejandro González Iñárritu picking up the Oscar, marking the second year in a row that another Latino and Mexican won the Oscar (last year Alfonso Cuarón won with Gravity)

Finally came the most anticipated moment of the night: the Oscar for Best Picture. Perhaps the most significant moment was not the award itself, but the emotional acceptance speech from Alejandro G.

Iñárritu, recalled the conflicts in Mexico, and championed America as the great nation that gave him the opportunity to excel as a professional filmmaker.  Iñárritu called for a celebration of America as an immigrant nation, paying tribute to the many immigrants that have made this nation great.

“I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico, I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve.
And the ones living in this country who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible nation.”

Another Latino moment of the evening was the tribute to the many film greats who died in the past year. In this case, the Oscar’s highlighted the literary influence of the Colombian, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose works have inspired several films.

But who is Alejandro González Iñárritu?

Mexican-born Iñárritu was born in Mexico City on August 15, 1963.

Iñárritu is the first Mexican film director to win the Oscar for Best Picture; his film history includes Amores Perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003) Babel (2006), Biutiful (2010), and Birdman (2014).

His Career in Radio, TV and Advertising

Iñárritu’s career began in mid-1985 in Mexico City as a broadcaster in the WFM 96.9 radio station. He worked to change the perspective of the traditional radio format in Mexico by incorporating satellite transmissions of rock concerts, and influencing the creation of new radio stations with the same format.

Then Iñárritu jumped into TV, also transforming the image of one of the most iconic Televisa channels, Canal 5.  Later, he decided to create his own film production company, Z Films, where he took his first steps in the advertising and film world.

Among his most important works in advertising are “Write the Future” for Nike and his spot before the FIFA World Cup in 2010. This ad won the Grand Prize in the Cannes Lions Advertising and Creativity Festival.

In 2012, he directed “Best Job” for Procter & Gamble and the Olympic Games in 2012, which won him an Emmy.

Also in 2012, he directed a spot for Facebook called  “The Things That Connect Us”.

All his spots are emotional, heartwarming, and focus on connecting people through multicultural insights.

His passion for Soccer.

Iñárritu previously directed a commercial for Nike Football, but this is not the only example of his passion for soccer. Alejandro González Iñárritu is a huge fan of Club America, and in 2008, alongside Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro, he produced a Mexican film, “Rudo y Cursi”, a dramatic comedy featuring two impoverished brothers, Tato (Gael García Bernal) and Beto (Diego Luna) struggling to get out in the world of soccer and achieve their dreams of becoming famous footballers.

Another interesting factoid about Iñárritu’s relation to soccer is that his brother, Hector González Iñárritu is the Principal Director of the Mexican National Soccer Teams.

Without doubt, the career of Alejandro González Iñárritu is truly an example of hard work, perseverance, innovation, and inspiration. Iñárritu epitomizes how the immigrant culture of America contributes to the story of who we are as Americans.

The work of Iñárritu is profoundly American, while also staying true to his Mexican roots. Using multicultural insights to connect people across the globe, Iñárritu is a filmmaker who defines America’s past, present, and future.

Photo via Vanity Fair.

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Fabián González