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Alejandro Iñarrittu - Top 25 Directors

Date of birth 15 August 1963
Location Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

Born in México City, Mexicoo, in 1963, Alejandro González Iñárrittu started his show-business career in 1984 as a DJ at top-rated Mexican radio station WFM. At the same time he studied filmmaking and theater. From 1988 to 1990 he composed music for six Mexican features, including Garra de tigre (1989). In the 1990s he became one of the youngest producers in Mexican TV when he was in charge of the production of Televisa, Mexico's most important TV company. After leaving Televisa he started Zeta Films, his own company. He began writing and shooting TV advertising for Mexican television (some of them can be seen in his first feature, Amores perros (2000)). However, for him those commercials were just rehearsals for a future movie. At the same time he continued his studies of filmmaking in Maine and Los Angeles, under Polish director Ludwik Margules. His first half-length feature, "Detrás del dinero", was produced in 1995 for Televisa and starred Spanish actor Miguel Bosé.

Looking for good stories, he read a lot of scripts and one day was introduced to Guillermo Arriaga, a screenwriter, and they planned to make 11 shorts to show the contradictory nature of Mexico City. After three years and 36 drafts, they ended up settling on only three stories and expanding them. That movie, "Amores Perros", became a major hit at its release at the Festival de Cannes 2000, where it received the award of the best film by the Semaine de la Critique, and went on to huge worldwide success. It also earned an Oscar nomination for best foreign movie.

In 2002 Alejandro was one of the directors involved in the making of 11'09''01 - September 11 (2002), a film about the influence of the terrorist attack of 9/11 on the world. Also participating in the film were such major filmmakers as Wim Wenders, Ken Loach, Mira Nair, Amos Gitai and Sean Penn.

The success of those films opened the doors of Hollywood to Alejandro. His second feature, 21 Grams (2003), was also written by Arriaga, was shot in English and starred Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts. All received Academy Award nominations for their participation.

At present Alejandro is collaborating with Arriaga in the writing of a third movie that will form a trilogy about death with his other two first pictures.


"(On why did he not record an audio commentary for 21 Grams) I don't like them. I feel that if you have to explain something it loses strength. It's like a magician trying to explain his magic, in a way. Those kind of things make me feel like I've lost something special about the film. The film should explain itself."

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