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Alejandro González Iñárritu will be feted with a Career Achievement Award at the 7th Zurich Film Festival


It was announced today that Academy Award® nominated director Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Amores Perros” “21 Grams” “Babel” “Biutiful”) will be feted with a Career Achievement Award at the 7th Zurich Film Festival (ZFF), taking place September 22 – October 2. The announcement was made by ZFF Directors Karl Spoerri and Nadja Schildknecht.

Iñárritu will be on hand to receive ZFF’s coveted Golden Eye Award for his career achievements as a director, writer and producer, and will participate in the Festival’s signature Master Class series, now in its 6th instalment. This exclusive talent workshop, taking place on Friday, September 30th in the Filmpodium, will give selected participants the opportunity to exchange ideas with Iñárritu and interact in a unique, personalized environment.

The Zurich Film Festival will also present an Iñárritu retrospective to mark the presentation of the award on Saturday, October 1st and will screen four films from his amazing career -- “Amores Perros,” “21 Grams,” “Babel,” and “September 11.”

Alejandro González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Director and also by the DGA of America for Best Director.

Born in Mexico City. Iñárritu began his career as a DJ, eventually composing soundtracks for Mexican films and making TV commercials. His interest in filmmaking soon eclipsed his music career, and he went to the United States to study directing.

During the 1990s, Iñárritu was a producer for the Mexican TV company Televisa and a founder of Zeta Films. His 1999 feature film debut, “Amores Perros,” a gritty exploration of Mexico City's underbelly, won an Academy Award® nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was also a breakthrough for its lead actor, Gael García Bernal, with whom Iñárritu would collaborate again.

After completing two notable short films, BMW's “Powder Keg” and a piece about the September 11 attacks, Iñárritu tackled his first English-language feature, “21 Grams.” The critically acclaimed film starred Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts, both of whom received Oscar® nominations for their performances. Iñárritu won the Best Director Prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival for his next film, “Babel,” a multinarrative drama starring Adriana Barraza, Bernal, Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt and Rinko Kikuchi. “Babel” received seven Oscar® nominations, including Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Director.

Entering just its seventh year, the Zurich Film Festival has established itself as a marquee European Festival, discovering and promoting independent voices and talent from around the world and showcasing a diverse array of international films. ZFF continues to serve as the setting for many World and European premieres.

Multiple Academy Award® winner and humanitarian Sean Penn will be in Zurich to accept the Festival’s coveted Golden Icon Award in a ceremony taking place on September 28th.

Academy Award® nominee Laurence Fishburne heads this year’s international jury and will also receive a special achievement award.  Fishburne stars in Steven Soderbergh’s sci-fi thriller “Contagion” which will open the 2011 Zurich Film Festival on Thursday, September 22nd. The film’s all-star cast includes Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Bryan Cranston, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law.

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