Cheval Noir Award: Guillermo Del Toro

A childhood in Guadalajara, Mexico ripe with ghosts (real and imagined), comic books, Edgar Allan Poe stories, Santo mash-ups and classic Universal monster movies has led to one of the most fertile careers in genre films for 51-year-old master of the dark fantastique, Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro first introduced us to his cinematic uniqueness with the newfangled vampire movie CRONOS in 1993, and he has bounced back and forth between big studio films (the HELLBOY duo, PACIFIC RIM) and more personalized independent features (THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and the Oscar-winning PAN’S LABYRINTH) ever since. Common themes and images weave their ways through all of del Toro’s movies, and his personal stamp can be found on every frame. Self-described geek del Toro shares his love of monsters big and small in the thorough documentary CREATURE DESIGNERS: THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX, which he will be hosting at Fantasia. Guillermo del Toro, “One of Us!” and a most fitting recipient of this year’s Cheval Noir Award!