Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu can now add doctorate to his many achievements. Just this week, he received an Honoris Causa doctoral degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Bestowed upon him by the school’s president, the honorary degree marked yet another accomplishment for the Birdman and Amores perros director. To celebrate this acknowledgment, González Iñárritu gave a master class at the school where he spoke to students there about everything he’s learned during his decades as a self-taught filmmaker.
During his conversation with film critic Fernanda Solórzano, the Oscar winner spoke about everything from shooting in the Canadian wilderness for The Revenant, his aversion to social media, why he thinks of filmmakers as artisans, and even his fascination with Greta Thunberg and her ecological activism. He even took a swipe at Game of Thrones and their green-screened scenes and acknowledged how many more opportunities Mexican filmmakers have nowadays as opposed to when he got his start.
“It does not mean that the quality has increased,” he shared, “but numbers-wise we are living a golden age in that sense and in the opportunities that kids have.” It’s a moment in Mexican cinema where, as he put it, young up-and-comers need not leave the country to produce the work they’ve always dreamed of making. If you have close to four hours to spare you can take a look at the entire master class below.