Oscar Directors: Cuarón, Alfonso–Filmmaker, Producer, Writer

Alfonso Cuarón was  the producer of Rudo y Cursi (Tough and Corny), which is being released on May 8, 2009 by Sony Pictures Classics.

Born in Mexico City, Alfonso Cuarón studied Philosophy and Cinema at the UNAM (Mexico’s National University). He started working as an errand boy, microphone operator, loader, editor, camera operator and assistant director until he directed his first feature film, Sólo con tu pareja, in 1991. Written by Carlos Cuarón, this successful film was awarded the Best Original Screenplay by the Mexican Academy of Cinematography.

In 1993, he was invited by Sydney Pollack to direct one episode of the television series Fallen Angels. Alfonso stayed in the United States where, in 1995, he directed A Little Princess, which received a double nomination by the Academy. In 1998, Alfonso directed Great Expectations, with a cast that included Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert De Niro and Anne Bancroft.

In 2001, he returned to Mexico in order to direct Y tu mamá también, a film that he cowrote with Carlos Cuarón. The movie enjoyed great international popularity, both commercially and critically, and was awarded the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival for the Best Original Screenplay, as well as the Emerging Actor Marcello Mastroianni Award for Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, and many other awards and nominations including Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars and BAFTA, and Best Foreign Film at the BAFTA and the Golden Globes.

In 2004, Alfonso directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third in the incredibly successful Harry Potter film series based on the books by J. K. Rowling. That same year, he produced The Assassination of Richard Nixon, which was directed by Niels Muller, and Crónicas de Sebastián Cordero; both films debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. Later on, he wrote and directed a segment of the Paris, Je T’aime, which was shown at the Un Certain Regard section of the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. At the same time, Alfonso was one of the producers on Guillermo del Toro’s El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth), which would premiere in Cannes that same year with unprecedented praise.

In 2006, Alfonso directed Children of Men, which he wrote alongside Tim Sexton, based on the book by P. D. James. Children of Men was nominated for three Oscars in 2007: Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay, and won two BAFTA Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design as well as a nomination for Alfonso to the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

After, taking as a starting point the futuristic element in the film, Alfonso made the documentary The Possibility of Hope where academicians and philosophers of the stature of Naomi Klein, James Lovelock and Slavoj Zizek, speak about what can be expected from the world in the near future. Later, Alfonso produced Año uña, his son’s, Jonás Cuarón, first film, with whom he collaborated in the documentary The Shock Doctrine, featuring Naomi Klein.

In 2007, Alfonso created the production company Cha Cha Chá with Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu through which they have a five-movie deal with Universal. Rudo y Cursi (Tough and Corny) is Cha Cha Chá’s first production.