“Birdman” Oscar contender and DGA-nominated director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu will receive the Vanguard Leadership Award at the fifth annual Sundance Institute benefit on June 2, 2015 in Los Angeles.
Iñárritu will be honored for the independent spirit of his films including “Amores Perros” (2000), “21 Grams” (2003), “Babel” (2006), “Biutiful” (2010) and “Birdman” (2014). He is the first Mexican director to have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director (for “Babel”) and by the Directors Guild of America for Best Director. He also won the Prix de la mise en scene (best director) at Cannes in 2006. (Our video interview with him is here.)
Previous recipients of the Vanguard Leadership Award include philanthropist and former Institute Trustee George Gund, journalist and film critic Roger Ebert and actress and arts advocate Glenn Close.
In addition to the Vanguard Leadership Award, the Institute presents the Vanguard Award, including a cash grant and mentorship from industry professionals and Institute staff, to an emerging artist with creative independence. Benh Zeitlin, Ryan Coogler and “Whiplash” director Damien Chazelle are past recipients, and the 2015 recipient will be announced in the spring.