Within the genre film category one of the biggest directors working today is Guillermo del Toro. From his mind has sprung films like Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and Hellboy 2, Pacific Rim, Blade II, Crimson Peak, and Mimic. He has also produced films like Kung Fu Panda 3,The Book of Life, Rise of the Guardians, and the television series The Strain. From this fertile mind many a creepy monster has risen and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Born in 1964 in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised by his grandmother, Guillermo fell in love with films, especially monster ones, at a young age. He began to express an interest in the making of films in his teens. There was never a doubt this is where his life was going to lead him. He started off in the make-up world learning from the master, Dick Smith (The Exorcist). By the age of 21 he was already producing feature films and directed his first film, Cronos, in 1993. It was huge in Mexico and even garnered him attention at Cannes. His first Hollywood film came in 1997, Mimic starring Mira Sorvino. While working on this film he realized the constraints the studio system placed on filmmakers and so formed his own production company, The Tequila Gang.
Soon film after film was being made to the delight of genre film fans. They felt he was one of their own and he was. This is a man who loves monsters and monster films. In 2006 his career exploded with the release of the film, Pan’s Labyrinth. The film, written and directed by del Toro, earned 6 Oscar nominations and won 3, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Art Direction and Best Achievement in Makeup. It was also nominated for the prestigious Palme D’Or at Cannes.
As part of Fantasia’s 20th edition, Guillermo del Toro is making his first appearance at the festival and is being awarded the Cheval Noir Award. He also takes part in a documentary being screened at the festival, Creature Designers: The Frankenstein Complex.
Before the screening of that film the renowned director sat down and discussed anything and everything having to do with his films, films in general and the world today. Just like his films the man is entertaining, dark and honest.