Oscars shine light on Mexico’s cinema revival

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Leonardo DiCaprio (L) poses with the Oscar for Best Actor, and Alejandro G. Iñárritu poses with the Oscar for Best Director in the press room during the 88th Oscars on Feb 28, 2016 in Hollywood.

CALL it cinema’s revenant: Left for dead two decades ago, Mexico’s movie industry is now thriving under a golden generation of film-makers who have scooped up Oscars for three years in a row.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu became only the third director to win back-to-back Oscars, rewarded on Sunday for his survival epic The Revenant, a year after his triumph for Birdman.

Before him, countryman Alfonso Cuaron won the best directing statuette for the sci-fi thrillerGravity in 2014.

All three films were shot by another Mexican, Emmanuel Lubezki, who made history by winning his third consecutive Oscar for best cinematography after filming The Revenant under extreme winter conditions.

Inarritu, Cuaron and their friend Guillermo del Toro form «The Three Amigos» of Mexican directors who have conquered Hollywood.

But other less famous film-makers have won prizes at prestigious film festivals in Europe.

The five-year haul is impressive: Mexicans have won nine Oscars, four Golden Globes, three prizes at the Cannes film festival, two best film awards in Berlin and a Golden Lion in Venice.

But that’s not all. While Mexicans make a name abroad, production is soaring back home, from 10 films made in 2000 (when Inarritu’s first film, «Amores Perros,» came out) to 120 per year today.

«Rather than calling it a new wave, we should talk about several waves,» said Jean-Christophe Berjon, film critic and former advisor at the Cannes film festival.

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2016 file photo, John Krasinski, left, and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announce the Academy Awards nominations for best performance by an actor in a leading role at the 88th Academy Awards nomination ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif. The film academy is pledging to double the number of female and minority members by 2020, and will immediately diversify its leadership by adding three new seats to its board of governors. Isaacs announced the changes Friday, Jan. 22,  following a weeklong storm of criticism and calls for an Oscar boycott after academy members nominated an all-white slate of actors for the second year in a row. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2016 file photo, John Krasinski, left, and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announce the Academy Awards nominations for best performance by an actor in a leading role at the 88th Academy Awards nomination ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif. The film academy is pledging to double the number of female and minority members by 2020, and will immediately diversify its leadership by adding three new seats to its board of governors. Isaacs announced the changes Friday, Jan. 22, following a weeklong storm of criticism and calls for an Oscar boycott after academy members nominated an all-white slate of actors for the second year in a row. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

 

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