The DGA nominee and director of Birdman will receive the Vanguard Leadership Award at the fifth annual Sundance Institute benefit on June 2 in Los Angeles.
Iñárritu will be honoured for “the originality and independent spirit of his films”, which include Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful and Birdman.
“The current health and vibrancy of independent film is best reflected in the stories from film-makers who continue to push and break boundaries,” said Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam.
“Alejandro G Iñárritu is among the most creative and innovative film-makers working today and the boldness, humanity and audacity of his films will inspire generations to come.”
Iñárritu said: “It comes as a great honour to receive this award from an organisation whose mission, spirit and objectives are noble and have a profound effect on many filmmakers around the world.”
The LA-based Mexican film-maker will be the fourth recipient of the Vanguard Leadership Award after philanthropist and former Institute Trustee George Gund, journalist and film critic Roger Ebert and actress and Glenn Close.
The Institute will unveil in spring the recipient of the Vanguard Award, including a cash grant and mentorship from industry professionals and Institute staff, to “an emerging artist with creative independence.”
Prior honourees include Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, Benh Zeitlin and Ryan Coogler.