Iñárritu and Lubezki Bring Virtual Reality to Cannes With Their “Carne Y Arena”

By Bel Hernandez

Virtual Reality premiered at Cannes Film Festival May 18th and director/producer Academy Award winners director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki are at the forefront leading a new media form onto the international film festival arena.  Their latest Carne Y Arena, is the first VR project to have been accepted at Cannes as an Official Selection.

Lubeski and Iñárritu at Cannes

The dynamic cinematic duo of Iñárritu and Lubezki Carne Y Arena at Cannes is only a six and a half minute tease ahead of its official opening at the Fondazione Prada in Milan in June. Deadline’s Joe Utichi who was one of the select few who will experience the installation of Carne Y Arena at Cannes at the installation housed at the Cannes-Mandelieu airport 20 minutes away from in the town of Mandelieu.

Carne Y Arena  takes on the plight of the human conditions of immigrants and refugees, which the filmmakers say are based on true accounts and is described by the filmmakers as: The superficial lines between subject and bystander are blurred and bound together, allowing individuals to walk in a vast space and thoroughly live a fragment of the refugees’ personal journeys. Carne Y Arena employs the highest, never-before-used virtual technology to create a large, multi-narrative light space with human characters.

Utichi relays his virtual reality immersion vividly as he is transported into “…the middle of the desert as a group of migrants attempts a border crossing…men, women, and children, navigating in the almost pitch black, in search of a better life”, surmising the experience as “There is nothing gimmicky about the emotional experience Carne Y Arena offers.”  The next best thing to experiencing the installation, which only 1000 people at Cannes will get to do, is to read Utichi’s article.

Iñárritu spent four years interviewing Mexican and Latin American refugees and incorporates their experiences to address the issue of immigration.  With Carne Y Arena he wanted to offer the installation visitor literally “walk” in the immigrants’ feet, and to hopefully feel their hearts.

Iñárritu and Lubezki partnered with Mary Parent and Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB. The project was produced and financed by Legendary Entertainment and Fondazione Prada. The full version of the film will be showing at Milan’s Fondazione Prada from June through December and will transfer to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art in July and the Tlatelolco Museum in Mexico City.

Could Virtual Reality become the future of film?  Instead of watching them in a theater…you experience the film being in it!!

On the COOList scale of 1 – 10 this is off the COOOOOOOOList scale!

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