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VES to Honor Academy Award-Winning Director Guillermo del Toro

The Visual Effects Society names the acclaimed filmmaker this year’s recipient of the VES Creative Excellence Award; his film, ‘The Shape of Water’ received 2 Oscars and his most recent, ‘Nightmare Alley’ has garnered 4 nominations at the upcoming Academy Awards.

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has named director-producer-screenwriter Guillermo del Toro as the recipient of this year’s VES Award for Creative Excellence in recognition of his valuable contributions to filmed entertainment. The award will be presented at the 20th Annual VES Awards on March 8, 2022, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. 

The VES Award for Creative Excellence, bestowed by the VES board of directors, recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the art and science of the visual effects industry by uniquely and consistently creating compelling and creative imagery in service to story. The VES will honor the Academy Award-winning director for his artistry and expansive storytelling that blends iconic visual effects and unforgettable narrative. Del Toro has created a distinctive cinematic style mixing the world of monster movies, comic books and visuals straight from his imagination.

“Guillermo is a fiercely inventive storyteller, who has pushed the boundaries of filmmaking,” noted VES board chair Lisa Cooke.  “An exemplary talent, he has consistently elevated not just the technical aspect of visual effects, but also the emotional. Guillermo is an amazing creative force and a defining voice in our global community, and his body of work is a rich source of inspiration for future generations of artists and innovators.   For Guillermo’s outstanding mastery of his craft, we are proud to honor him with the prestigious VES Award for Creative Excellence.”

The acclaimed Mexican filmmaker received the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture for The Shape of Water. The film also won for Best Production Design and Best Original Score. Additional accolades for del Toro and the film included: the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice Film Festival in 2017; Best Director awards from the DGA, BAFTA and Los Angeles Film Critics Association; Outstanding Producer Award from the PGA; and a Best Original Screenplay nomination from the Academy. 

Del Toro reunited with his The Shape of Water studio Searchlight Pictures for his directorial follow-up, Nightmare Alley, which has four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture; three BAFTA nominations; a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay; and an ASC nomination for Best Feature Film. His upcoming projects include a stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio, and the Netflix anthology series Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

In his filmmaking career, del Toro has alternated between Spanish-language gothic fantasy films such as The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, and American studio movies including Blade II, Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak. Pan’s Labyrinth became a top-grossing foreign release in the United States and received six Oscar nominations, winning for art direction, cinematography, and makeup.

Del Toro’s work includes films such as The Orphanage, Julia’s Eyes, Biutiful, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and Mama. He garnered accolades when his first feature Cronos won nine Ariel Awards (the Mexican equivalent of the Oscars), then went on to win the International Critics Week Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Del Toro studied makeup effects with artist Dick Smith and spent 10 years as a special-effects makeup designer, eventually forming his own company, Necropia. He also co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival. He was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2018 and he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019.

Previous recipients of the VES Award for Creative Excellence include award-winning creators-executive producers-writers-directors David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, acclaimed visual effects supervisor Sheena Duggal and award-winning visual effects supervisor and director of photography Robert Legato, ASC.

Source: Visual Effects Society

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.