February 29, 2016 / 8:04 AM / 3 years ago

Alejandro Iñárritu wins best director Oscar for 'The Revenant'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mexico’s Alejandro Iñárritu won the best director Oscar on Sunday for drama “The Revenant” about a fur trapper who survives a bear attack and treks across a desolate landscape in winter.

Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, nominated for Best Director for his film "The Revenant", arrives at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Iñárritu was the first filmmaker in more than 60 years to win a back-to-back director’s Oscar. Iñárritu won best director last year for “Birdman,” which also won the 2015 best picture Academy Award.

Iñárritu had already won a Golden Globe, a British BAFTA and a Directors Guild award for “The Revenant.”

“I am very lucky to be here tonight, but unfortunately many others haven’t had the same luck,” Iñárritu said on stage.

He quoted a line from his film in which the main character refers to racial prejudice against his mixed-race son.

“What a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and this tribal thinking and make sure for once and forever that the color of your skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair,” Iñárritu said, as he touched his long hair.

As a Hispanic, he was one of only a handful of minority nominees this year for Academy Awards. The lack of diversity fueled the resurgence of the #OscarsSoWhite furor for a second year.

“The Revenant,” which is inspired by real events, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a 19th century fur trapper mauled by a bear and left for dead by his team. He sets out on a quest for revenge against those who abandoned him.

“The Revenant” was filmed in Canada and Argentina over seven months using only natural light in tough outdoor settings beset by brutally cold weather.

Iñárritu has described “The Revenant” as his homage to the origins of filmmaking because it was shot on location with few special effects.

The director’s previous films include “Biutiful,” “Babel,” “21 Grams” and “Amores Perros.”

Iñárritu left Mexico at a young age to work on a cargo ship, spending time in Europe before returning home to study in Mexico City.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Sandra Maler

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