GIFF Profile: Guillermo del Toro

By: Lauren Malenchini

The history of Cinema in Mexico dates back to the 19th century when it was first used to document historical events. In its “Golden Age”, from 1930-1960, Mexican cinema dominated the Latin American film industry. The era spanning from 1990 to present day is what is known as Nuevo Cine Mexicano, or New Mexican Cinema. Guillermo del Toro has led the way for Mexican filmmakers in Hollywood. Known for his films rich in emotional intensity and complex themes, Del Toro’s work in the film industry is revolutionary.

Born in Guadalajara in 1964, Guillermo del Toro fell in love with filmmaking at just 8 years old. Guillermo would create short films using his action figures and toys. He developed an interest in film and horror stories at a young age, and began making more serious short films throughout high school. He pursued his talent and passion studying filmmaking at the University of Guadalajara. Del Toro immersed himself into every aspect of filmmaking, and developed a particular interest in the art of movie makeup. He worked as a special effects makeup artist throughout the 1980’s, confounding Nercopia, a special-effects company.

Del Toro wrote and directed multiple episodes of the television horror series ​Hora Marcada ​before creating his debut film ​Cronos​ in 1963. His debut film won nine Ariel Awards from the Mexican Academy of Film, and received the International Critics grand Prize at the Cannes film festival. Del Toro’s work as a writer gained widespread attention with his comic book adaptation of ​Blade II ​(2002), and ​Hellboy​ (2004). His award winning work and accolades did not end there, he gained momentum in Hollywood writing and directing the visual and thematic fantasy ​El laberinto del fauno (2006), which won Academy Awards for makeup, art direction and cinematography.

Del Toro co-wrote the screenplay for ​The Shape of Water, ​an intense fantasy romance film which was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won in four categories. Del Toro was awarded an Oscar, Golden Globe Award and BAFTA for best director for his extraordinary contributions to the film.

Del Toro has made an incredible impact on the film industry, and is praised for his ability to write and direct complex thematic storylines with compelling fantasy and supernatural elements. Del Toro creates cinematic masterpieces in a range of genres that people of all ages and interests can enjoy. He is currently working on a stop-motion production of ​Pinocchio​ and the film, ​Nightmare Valley. We remain excited for the releases of his latest work, and look forward to what he accomplishes throughout the rest of his career.



“Guillermo Del Toro.” ​Encyclopædia Britannica​, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,​.

Tapia, Shanti. “Mexican Film Directors.” ​Spanish55​,​.

Tyler, Adrienne, and Adrienne Tyler (2072 Articles Published) “What Is Guillermo Del Toro’s Next Movie?” ​ScreenRant​, 19 Aug. 2019,​.

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