Academy Award Winner and Rolex Mentor Alejandro González Iñárritu

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Academy Award Winner and Rolex Mentor Alejandro González Iñárritu
Rolex has recently become the sponsor of the Greenroom at the 89th Academy Awards, but their ties to the Oscars go further than sponsorships. Their Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative has coupled Oscar-winning directors with protégés in the film industry since 2004, when the program began to include film as a discipline. Alejandro González Iñárritu, the first Mexican director to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, participated in the 2014-2015 initiative.

Iñárritu's most recent films, The Revenant and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), won several accolades that included Academy Awards. The Revenant's Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar for Best Actor for the film, a newsworthy accomplishment given the actor's multiple nominations in past years that never resulted in a win. Birdman, Iñárritu's first foray into comedy, won Best Picture in 2015 and high acclaim from critics.

The prolific Mexican director takes from life when creating his cinematic masterpieces. He traveled through Africa and Europe as a youth and later used the cultures he encountered in films such as Babel, his 2006 film. He began his career as a radio host in Mexico while studying at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He ascended the ranks to station director and made his station one of the most listened to in Mexico at the time. He later began his own production company, Zeta Films, to work on television spots and short films.

His first feature film, Amores Perros, was nominated for an Oscar as a Foreign Film entry and Iñárritu's directorial career took off after that. His films explore the intensity of the human condition in dire circumstances with vivid realism. His exceptional work made him an ideal mentor for Rolex's prestigious mentorship program. His protégé for the Rolex Arts Initiative was Israeli filmmaker and screenwriter Tom Shoval. For more information on the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, including the current participants, visit rolexmentorprotege.com.

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