Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón will receive this year’s Vanguard Award at the second annual IndieWire Honors, honoring the best and brightest in independent entertainment. The two-time Oscar winner is returning to the awards season arena with his latest film, the deeply personal Netflix drama “Roma,” which is based on his own coming-of-age in Mexico City. The filmmaker also produced (with Participant Media), edited, and served as his own cinematographer on the project, which centers on breakout actress Yalitza Aparicio, playing a character based on Cuarón’s beloved childhood nanny.
The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion for best film. It went on to screen at Telluride, Toronto, and New York, and will be available on the streaming service and in select theaters on December 14.
In his IndieWire review of the film, executive editor and chief critic Eric Kohn wrote, “Alfonso Cuarón’s first project in his native Mexico since ‘Y Tu Mamá También,’ ‘Roma’ has more in common with that movie’s character-based storytelling than any of the bigger productions he’s made since; it also exhibits a mastery unique to his command of the medium. The bittersweet tale of a housemaid in a middle-class neighborhood of Mexico City in the early ’70s, ‘Roma’ channels Cuarón’s memories of his upbringing into a ravishing, meditative, black-and-white saga that mines its bittersweet story from the inside out.”
Cuarón joins previously announced honorees, including Ryan Coogler, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Bill Hader, Natalie Portman, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron and Constance Wu.
Selected by IndieWire’s editorial team, IndieWire Honors is a celebration of eight of the biggest names in entertainment and will be celebrated at an intimate cocktail reception taking place on November 1 in Los Angeles. Exclusive editorial content, including honoree profiles and video interviews, will also be featured onbeginning November 1 and will continue throughout the month of November.