Alejandro G. Inarritu, Marielle Heller Tapped for Sundance Honor

Sundance Institute will present its Vanguard Awards to “Birdman” director Alejandro G. Inarritu and Marielle Heller (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”) at its Sundance Institute Celebration on June 2.

Inarritu will be honored with the Vanguard Leadership Award for the originality and independent spirit of his films.

Inarritu’s films include “Amores Perros” (2000), “21 Grams” (2003), “Babel” (2006), “Biutiful” (2010) and “Birdman,” which won him three Oscars for best picture, director and original screenplay. He has produced three films that appeared at the Sundance Film Festival: “Nine Lives” (2005), “Mother and Child” (2010) and “Rudo y Cursi” (2009).

Inarritu will be the fourth recipient of the Vanguard Leadership Award, joining philanthropist and former institute trustee George Gund, journalist and film critic Roger Ebert, and actress and arts advocate Glenn Close.

Comedian Mike Birbiglia will present Heller his Vanguard Award. Heller’s first feature film, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” was supported by Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program’s directors and screenwriters labs, Creative Producing Summit and Women Filmmakers Fellowship Program. It premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for excellence in cinematography and was acquired for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.

Heller will be the fourth recipient of this award, joining Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) and Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”).

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