Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu will team with his Oscar-winning Revenant and Birdman cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki on a virtual reality short film showcasing the plight of illegal immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the United States.
While little is known about the details of the project, Variety reports that the 53-year-old Mexican director will take the reins on the experimental short film, which highlights the “intense and excruciating experience” that immigrants face while crossing the border.
Legendary Entertainment will finance and produce the film along with Fondazione Prada, a Milan-based art and culture institution. Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division will reportedly help build the virtual reality world.
The short film will be the first project for Iñárritu since coming off of two back-to-back Oscar wins for The Revenant and Birdman.
The director has been an active and outspoken advocate for illegal immigrants.
At a fundraising gala in Los Angeles in November, Iñárritu decried the “constant and relentless xenophobic comments” espoused during the U.S. presidential election and urged immigration advocates to call illegal immigrants “undocumented dreamers.”
“If we continue to allow these words to water seeds of hate, and spread inferior thoughts and unwholesome emotions around the world to every human being, not only will millions of Mexicans and Latin American immigrants be in danger, but immigrants around the world now suffering, will share the same dangerous fate,” the director said at the fifth annual LACMA Art and Film Gala.
Iñárritu has also been a vocal critic of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and in particular, his plan to build a border wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, telling reporters after the Director’s Guild of America Awards in February that Trump’s plan would “betray the foundation” of America.
Iñárritu’s film isn’t the only upcoming project to explore the experiences of illegal immigrants from Mexico. Desierto, from Mexican director Jonás Caurón, centers on a group of illegal immigrants as they attempt to make the border crossing between Mexico and the United States, only to encounter a “racist” vigilante and his vicious guard dog, who will do everything in their power to prevent the group from entering the U.S. That film will be released in the U.S. on October 14.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum