Oscar winner launches scholarship for aspiring Mexican filmmakers

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Guadalajara (Mexico), March 11 (IANS) Oscar-winning writer-director Guillermo del Toro has launched a scholarship for aspiring Mexican filmmakers.

After his romance-fantasy film “The Shape of Water” took home four Academy Awards last Sunday, including best picture and director, the filmmaker has returned to his native city for the week-long Guadalajara International Film Festival, where he is imparting a series of free master classes to thousands of fans.

Following the first class on Saturday, the festival inaugurated a state-of-the-art cinema named after del Toro. The organisers announced the creation of the Jenkins-Del Toro International Film Scholarship, a $60,000 annual award for an aspiring Mexican filmmaker to study abroad at a prestigious film institute, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

“If we change a life, if we change a history, we change a generation,” said del Toro, whose genre filmmaking has inspired a new generation of talent in Mexico.

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Del Toro and fellow countrymen Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman”) regularly produce films of up-and-coming Mexican filmmakers.

“The first push is very important,” said del Toro, who will oversee a jury that awards the scholarship at the Guadalajara film fest each year.

Del Toro also announced that his At Home with Monsters exhibit will hit museums in Guadalajara and Mexico City next year. The exhibit features 500 drawings, paintings and concept pieces from del Toro’s works, including life-size sculptures of monster figures.

–IANS

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