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, awarded 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 creating in unique ways and coherent captivating and creative images in the service of the story. The VES will honor the Academy Award-winning director for his artistry and expansive storytelling that blends iconic visual effects with an unforgettable narrative. Del Toro created a distinctive cinematic style blending the world of monster movies, comic books, and visuals straight out of his imagination.
“Guillermo is a fiercely inventive storyteller, who has pushed the boundaries of filmmaking,” said Lisa Cooke, VES Board Chair. “An exemplary talent, he consistently elevated not only the technical aspect of visual effects, but also the emotional. Guillermo is an incredible creative force and a defining voice in our global community, and his work is a rich source of inspiration for future generations of artists and innovators. For Guillermo’s exceptional mastery of his art, we are proud to award him the prestigious VES Award for Creative Excellence.
The famous Mexican filmmaker received the Oscar for best director and best film for The shape of water. The film also won Best Production Design and Best Original Score. Additional accolades for del Toro and the film include: the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival in 2017; best director award from the DGA, BAFTA and Los Angeles Film Critics Association; PGA Outstanding Producer Award; and an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Del Toro has regained his The shape of water Searchlight Pictures studio for its production follow-up, alley of nightmares, which has four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture; three BAFTA nominations; a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay; and an ASC nomination for Best Feature. His next projects include a stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchioand the Netflix anthology series Cabinet of curiosities by Guillermo del Toro.
During his film career, del Toro alternated between Spanish-language Gothic fantasy films such as The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinthand American studio films including Blade II, Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak. Pan’s Labyrinth became the highest-grossing foreign release in the United States and received six Academy Award nominations, winning for Art Direction, Cinematography and Makeup.
Del Toro’s work includes films such as The orphanage, Julia’s eyes, biutilful, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and Mom. He was rewarded for his first feature film Chronos won nine Ariel Awards (the Mexican equivalent of the Oscars), then won the International Critics’ Week Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Del Toro studied makeup effects with artist Dick Smith and spent 10 years as a special effects makeup artist, before 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 winners of the VES Award for Creative Excellence include award-winning creators-executive producers-writers-directors David Benioff and DB Weiss, acclaimed visual effects supervisor Sheena Duggal, and award-winning visual effects supervisor and cinematographer Robert Legato , CSA.
Source: Visual Effects Society
Debbie Diamond Sarto is associate editor at Animation World Network.