A director whose former career as a DJ has instilled in him a spectacular comprehension of pacing and a near-unparalleled ability to weave a compelling, nonlinear tale, Alejandro González Iñárritu stunned filmgoers worldwide with his vital and affecting directorial debut, Amores Perros. Striking a fine balance between brutality and beauty while offering well-defined characters that seem as real as their stark surroundings, Iñárritu's unforgettable take on life in contemporary Mexico City earned the first-time feature director an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film among many other honors -- leaving expectations for a strong sophomore follow-up much higher than usual.
A native of Mexico City whose familiarity with his surroundings no doubt contributed to Amores Perros' vivid presentation of his home turf, Iñárritu earned a living as a DJ on the top-rated Mexican station WMF before becoming one of the youngest television producers in Mexican history. A musician at heart, Iñárritu also scored six Mexican films in the late '80s. Viewing his television work as a precursor to his feature aspirations, Iñárritu was soon introduced to noted Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, and the pair quickly found that they shared much in common with one another, including a unique view of life in Mexico City. In the following years, Iñárritu would study filmmaking under Polish director Ludwik Margules, and following continued studies in Maine and Los Angeles, it seemed the aspiring film director was ready to make his move.