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Gael García Bernal
Gael García Bernal

Mexican

After working as an actor in his native Mexico since childhood, Gael García Bernal made his feature film debut in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Academy Award-nominated Amores perros. His breakthrough performance in the universally acclaimed film earned him an Ariel Award (Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscar) as well as a Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, both as Best Actor.

Mr. García Bernal’s next film role was in another globally celebrated feature, Alfonso Cuarón’s Academy Award-nominated Y Tu Mamá También, starring opposite his lifelong friend Diego Luna. For their performances, the two friends were jointly voted the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the Venice International Film Festival.

He subsequently starred in the title role of Carlos Carrera’s Academy Award-nominated romantic drama El Crimen del padre Amaro [The Crime of Father Amaro]. His performance earned him the Silver Goddess Award for Best Actor from the Mexican Cinema Journalists, as well as a nomination from the Chicago Film Critics Association for Most Promising Performer.

Mr. García Bernal was next seen starring in Walter Salles’ award-winning The Motorcycle Diaries, also a Focus Features release, and for which he was a BAFTA Award nominee for Best Actor; Pedro Almodóvar’s La mala educacíon [Bad Education]; James Marsh’s The King; Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep; Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel, for which he and his fellow actors received a Screen Actors Guild Award ensemble nomination; and Lukas Moodysson’s Mammoth, in which he stars opposite Michelle Williams and which world-premiered at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. He will next star in the title role of Mateo Gil’s upcoming Pedro Páramo.

Mr. García Bernal and Mr. Luna joined with producer Pablo Cruz to form the production and distribution company Canana. Additionally, the new film Rudo y Cursi, written and directed by Carlos Cuarón, reteams the two actors onscreen. Already one of the highest-grossing Mexican films of all time, the movie will be released in the U.S. in the spring of 2009.

Canana’s other feature projects thus far have included Gerardo Naranjo’s Drama/Mex and Voy a explotar [I’m Going to Explode]; Agustín Díaz Yanes’ Sólo quiero caminar; and Mr. Garcia Bernal’s directorial debut, Déficit. Canana’s El Bufalo de la Noche (The Night Buffalo) and Sólo Dios Sabe (Only God Knows) both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and were directed, respectively, by Jorge Hernandez Aldana and Carlos Bolado.

Earlier this year, Canana’s Sin Nombre, written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; there, the Focus Features release won the Directing and Excellence in Cinematography Awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.