Iñárritu and Lubezki to Premiere First Cannes Virtual Reality Film Selection

Cannes announced this morning its lineup for its 70th edition, which includes a virtual reality film for the first time ever, and was directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu and illuminated by Emmanuel Lubezki, the duo behind the Academy-Award winning films Birdman and The Revenant.

The seven-minute immersive virtual reality piece Carne y Arena is based on true accounts, and explores the intense and excruciating experience of a group of immigrants and refugees crossing the border between Mexico and the United States.

“During the past four years in which this project has been growing in my mind, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing many Mexican and Central American refugees,” Iñárritu said in a statement quoted by IndieWire. “Their life stories haunted me, so I invited some of them to collaborate with me in the project.”

On his part, Cannes’ delegate general Thierry Frémaux explained the decision of including a VR project in the official selection saying “virtual reality is already an art... The way the Lumiere brothers impressed us back then, it’s the same way with VR now.”