×

Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo del Toro

Gotham Awards: World Cinema Tribute

The three recipients of the Gothams’ inaugural World Cinema Tribute have firmly established themselves as world-class cinematic talents with a remarkable ability for getting personal films made within the American studio system. Collectively, the three old friends from Mexico are a force to be reckoned with, pushing each other creatively while also joining forces to ensure that the renaissance in Mexican cinema, which began with their early work, continues to thrive.

Born within three years of each other, Cuaron, del Toro and Gonzalez Inarritu shared a camaraderie long before they achieved early success with their respective debut features, “Love in the Time of Hysteria” (1991), “Cronos” (1993) and “Amores perros” (2000).

“We’re from middle-class families and from the same country, so we obviously have much in common in terms of our cultural background,” Gonzalez Inarritu says. “But we also have a very strong creative partnership. We all share in the development of our scripts, invite each other to the editing room. We have a very rigorous relationship as friends and creators.”

Despite the collaborative nature of their relationship, each director has found his voice through starkly different forms of cinematic expression. Del Toro has explored the boundaries of the fantasy/horror genre with films such as “Mimic,” “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Hellboy,” while Gonzalez Inarritu has focused exclusively on dark dramas with multiple storylines, including “21 Grams” (2003), which was nominated for two Academy Awards. Cuaron has worked in multiple genres at every level of production, from the low-budget indie hit “Y tu mama tambien” (2001) to studio tentpole movies such as “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004).

This year has shaped up as a banner one for all three helmers, with the release of del Toro’s Spanish-set World War II horror-fantasy “Pan’s Labyrinth,” Gonzalez Inarritu’s visceral, multicontinental drama “Babel” and Cuaron’s dystopian sci-fi actioner “Children of Men.”

“I consider our three films this year to be sister films,” Cuaron says. “They are so radically different in form, but dramatically they deal with the same subject matter, which is the struggle of communication between people. In many ways, I feel like we have all made the same film.”

“This Gotham Award isn’t just a prize for us three amigos, it’s an award to a cinema that has been struggling to keep an international presence in a very adversarial industry,” del Toro says. “These two are my friends, and we are very close. But I also admire the hell out of them. It’s an honor to call them my colleagues.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Robert Pattinson

    Robert Pattinson Says Actors Only Go Method When They’re Playing A--holes

    Robert Pattinson is no fan of method acting, as he told Jennifer Lopez during an interview for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. Discussing his work in the nightmarish drama “The Lighthouse,” Pattinson revealed the psychological challenges that come with playing a character who slowly descends into madness. “It was a kind of no limit part, [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Batman Actors on Actors

    Robert Pattinson Thinks Jennifer Lopez Would Make an 'Awesome' Batman

    From his iconic portrayal of a lovestruck vampire in the “Twilight” series to his latest role as a disturbed lighthouse keeper in director Robert Eggers’ frightening drama “The Lighthouse,” it’s clear that Robert Pattinson is drawn to playing dark and brooding characters. While that might make his casting as Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ upcoming [...]

  • Always Be My Maybe

    Cinema Inspires Chefs at Variety's Food to Table Event at Napa Valley Film Festival

    The Variety Film to Table event at the Napa Valley Film Festival on Nov. 14 showcases some of the best chefs in the region, and their dishes that have been inspired by films. Mark Caldwell DISH: Tiger prawn noodle salad, pickled carrots, sesame-ginger vinaigrette Executive chef Caldwell creates dishes at David Estates winery, where his [...]

  • Keeley Hawes to Star in Untitled

    Keeley Hawes to Play Patricia Neal in Film About the Star and Roald Dahl (EXCLUSIVE)

    Keeley Hawes will star opposite Hugh Bonneville in a film about the Oscar-winner Patricia Neal and her husband, author Roald Dahl. Formerly known as “An Unquiet Life,” and based on Stephen Michael Shearer’s book of the same name, the family drama starts filming this week in Surrey, southern England. John Hay directs. He co-wrote the [...]

  • Eddie Murphy Antonio Bandares Variety Actors

    Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas Share More in Common Than 'Shrek'

    Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”) and Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here.  Antonio Banderas takes on the role of his career as the director who discovered him in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” playing a fictionalized take on Almodóvar sorting [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Robert Pattinson Actors on

    Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Lopez on Batman, 'Hustlers' and 'The Lighthouse'

    Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) and Robert Pattinson (“The Lighthouse”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here.  In “Hustlers,” Jennifer Lopez plays Ramona, the ringleader of a gang formed in a New York strip club. She’s equal parts private dancer and hardened criminal, a combination that Oscar voters might [...]

  • Napa Valley Film Festival Placeholder

    Napa Valley Film Festival Uncorks New Leadership, Rising Stars

    Nestled in the rolling vineyards and Instagram-worthy towns, the Napa Valley Film Festival kicks off its ninth edition with a new leader, and a renewed mandate to build on its success. NVFF runs Nov. 13-17 in Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Entertainment industry veteran Tom Tardio took over as CEO in July, and reports [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content