Del Toro wins Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival

For the third time in a row, Mexico has a strong presence in the oldest film festival in the world
The Jury awarding the prize to the Mexican director – photo by ETTORE FERRARI/EFE
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For the third time in a row, Mexico has a strong presence in the Venice Film Festival and yesterday it was the turn of Mexican director and screenwriter Guillermo del Toro to receive the Golden Lion for Best Film with The Shape of Water, a film set during the Cold War.

Upon hearing his name, the 52-year old filmmaker got up from his seat and walked to the podium where the Jury – comprised of fellow filmmaker Michel Franco – was expecting him to award him with the statute.

He dedicated the prize “to every Mexican and Latin American filmmaker dreaming of doing something in the fantasy genre," staying positive by adding that " it can be done,” during his acceptance speech.

The Shape of Water is a tender love story between a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) and an amphibious creature, with the Cold-War America as a background.

“I wanted it to be an ode to love – the most powerful force – and to cinema,” said Del Toro earlier this week in Venice.

“I weight 300 pounds (110 kg) and I've done 10 movies. There is a moment in every storyteller's life when you have to risk it all and go and so something different,” he joked.

At the end of his speech, he said in good humor that he was going to name his statue "Sergio Leone," in honor of the Italian filmmaker who made movies such as The Good The Bad and The Ugly, and Once Upon a Time in America.

Guillermo del Toro began working in the film industry as a makeup artist in the series La hora marcada (The Appointed Hour) and the movie Cabeza de Vaca (Cow's Head). He debuted as a director with the vampire-themed film Cronos in 1993, which was in theaters only a week, but helped him to get to Cannes, where, according to an interview given to EL UNIVERSAL, he arrived carrying the banners of his film himself. After the kindapping of his father, he decided to move to the United States, where he was hired to do Mimic.

The Devil's Backbone in 2001 gave him the opportunity to direct Blade II and the Hellboy films.

Last year he premiered the animated series Trollhunters in Netflix and he is currently working on a documentary which aims to show the political situation in Mexico. An exhibition showcasing his creature monsters is expected to open in 2018 in Mexico.


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