Fantasia 2016 Exclusive: Why Guillermo del Toro Means So Much to Young Filmmakers
This little article is my most personal piece online to date. It's not quite news, but rather an editorial. However, ScreenAnarchy has always allowed its writers a voice, which sets us apart. I do feel a little strange writing and posting this, but whatever. If you're reading this, perhaps you can relate.
Guillermo del Toro is an icon. You don't need me to tell you what films he's made or awards he's won; that's what IMDB and an internet search is for. I'm writing this because del Toro has been an inspirational figure to me and countless others, as well as a creative genius who happens to adore genre film. He's affected me because the stories that he tells has truth in them; and since a certain movie from the late '90s was made, he refuses to compromise on his artistic vision.
More so, del Toro returns the favor. An avid consumer of creative work himself, he's been famously supportive of championing films and books that touch him. Recently, he tweeted a nine-part missive on why he loves the film Spring (directed by Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson) so much.
Here's why that matters: we drown in a sea full of stuff wherein films are so quickly and cheaply made. When a voice like del Toro's shouts above the waves, what he says stands out --- and it's his passion that makes what he says truly count. Hearing him speak, not once would you ever think he's being insincere.
For a generation of filmmakers who struggle with societal validation while attempting to hone their craft and keep the lights on, words like these are a life raft. One can easily get lost in filmmaking: "Do I count? Will anyone care? Why do I do this?" And for someone such as del Toro, a creative titan --- to notice you and basically say, "I see you. Yes, you count and I adore what you do" --- it's a dream come true.
So, what prompted this outpouring? While I attended a Fantasia/del Toro press conference, the Cheval Noir ceremony (the award was given to del Toro this year), and the master class del Toro gave after presenting the special effects documentary Creature Features: The Frankenstein Complex --- I was able to talk to del Toro one-on-one on the red carpet. I asked him about the possibility of starting a foundation for young filmmakers, since he's been so vocal on supporting them. To hear what he had to say, check the clip below --- and don't ever give up on trying to make your dreams happen.
Photo of Guillermo del Toro (and the back of my head) by Robert del Tredici.