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Alejandro Inarritu’s VR Experience Awarded Rare Special Oscar

Board of Governors will present trophy to ”Carne y Arena“ next month

The film academy has awarded a rare special Oscar statue to a virtual reality installation from Academy Award winner Alejandro Iñárritu.

The installation, “CARNE y ARENA (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible),” will be given the rare special prize at next month’s Governors Awards in Los Angeles.

The recognition is a significant bolster for VR as a storytelling medium, but more than that, a spotlight on the political statement the installation represented at its debut in Cannes this year. The experience is solemn commentary on the horrors that immigrants to America face.

More to come. Read the full announcement:

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Wednesday (October 25) to present a Special Award – an Oscar® statuette – to director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s virtual reality installation, “CARNE y ARENA (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible),” in recognition of a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.

“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,” said Academy President John Bailey. “‘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.”

“CARNE y ARENA,” currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Fondazione Prada in Milan, and Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, is a collaboration between Iñárritu, Lubezki, producer Mary Parent, Legendary Entertainment, Fondazione Prada, ILMxLAB, and Emerson Collective. Katie Calhoon executive produced.
In recognition of this achievement, an Oscar will be presented to “CARNE y ARENA” at the Academy’s 9th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 11, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.