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Guillermo del Toro on The Shape of Water: Getting 13 Oscar nominations is incredible!

Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who is from Mexico, feels that it’s important to stick to one’s roots when one enters the world of international cinema. Satyajit Ray is a global name, he says, because his films reflect Indian culture.

hollywood Updated: Jan 27, 2018 19:34 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Guillermo del Toro,Hollywood,Oscars
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-nominated The Shape of Water releases in India on February 16.(REUTERS)

No prizes for guessing the state of mind of director Guillermo del Toro, following the 13 Oscar nominations for his film, The Shape of Water. He is “so thankful” and “over the moon”. In a telephonic chat with us from Romania, the 53-year-old filmmaker says that he never expected the dark, fantasy romance, which releases in India in February, to “connect” with people on such a personal level.

“In my experience of 25 years as a filmmaker, it’s very rare that a story connects with the audience, and is released at the right time. Sometimes, films are not able to connect with the audiences because it’s not the right time. So, for it to connect with the audiences is an incredible feeling for a filmmaker. Getting 13 nominations at the Oscars is an incredible feeling, and I am so thankful, and grateful for it to receive so many nominations,” says Del Toro, who has made popular films such as Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), and Pacific Rim (2013).

A still from the film, The Shape of Water, which has got 13 nominations at the Oscars 2018.

The Mexican-born filmmaker feels that it’s “very important” for any filmmaker to stick to their “roots” even when making films in the West. Del Toro adds that he is a big fan of films by Satyajit Ray and Vishal Bharadwaj. “I am a big cinephile,” he says, “and I love watching all kind of films. I think the best way to be an international filmmaker is to stick to your roots and culture, and make films that reflect your culture. You look at Satyajit Ray and [how] his films like The Apu Trilogy (1955-59) reflected the Indian culture, and that’s why, rightly so, he is regarded as one of the best filmmakers in the world.”

“Same with the current director – Vishal Bharadwaj,” says Del Toro. “He makes similar kind of movies. I know he has worked with writer Matthew Robbins (of Crimson Peak, 2015), and the kind of cinema he’s making is really great. I think that’s the most important thing, when someone is looking to work in international cinema,” he says.

Del Toro has roped in Indian animators and VFX artists for Pacifim Rim 2. “India has some serious prodigious talent in animation. Those people are doing some incredibly talented work, and it’s only about time that their work started getting recognised globally,” he says.

Interact with the author on Twitter/@sammysamarth

First Published: Jan 27, 2018 19:34 IST