Academy Votes Special Oscar for Alejandro Iñárritu VR Installation ‘Carne y Arena’

Carne y Arena
Carne y Arena

The Academy’s Board of Governors has voted to present a Special Award — an Oscar statuette — to virtual reality installation CARNE y ARENA (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible), by groundbreaking Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman, Amores Perros). This latest honor for the four-time Oscar-winning filmmaker is being presented in recognition of “a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.”

Academy President John Bailey said in the announcement:

“The Governors of the Academy are proud to present a special Oscar to CARNE y ARENA, in which Alejandro Iñárritu and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have opened for us new doors of cinematic perception,” “CARNE y ARENA, Iñárritu’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. 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 U.S.-Mexico border.”

The Special Award Oscar will be presented at the 9th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center. This year’s honorees, as previously announced, are actor Donald Sutherland, writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman and director Agnès Varda.

CARNE y ARENA is currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Fondazione Prada in Milan, and Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City. The installation is a collaboration between Iñárritu, Lubezki, producer Mary Parent, Legendary Entertainment, Fondazione Prada, ILMxLAB, and Emerson Collective. Katie Calhoon executive produced.

Carne y Arena

Carne y Arena

Alejandro G. Iñárritu accepting the Best Director Oscar for Birdman in 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu accepting the Best Director Oscar for Birdman in 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)