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Born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1964, Guillermo Del Toro displayed rare filmmaking talent from an earlier age. A film prodigy dedicated to Latin American cinema, he soon earned a place on Time magazine's list of "50 Young Leaders for the New Millenium." After executive producing his first feature at age 22, he worked as a special effects make-up designer for several years before forming his own company, Necropia. In 1993, Del Toro made his feature directorial debut with the film Cronos, which went on to win multiple awards, including the Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and eight of his country's academy awards. In the wake of that success he made his first foray into Hollywood filmmaking with Mimic (1997) starring Mira Sorvino. He returned to his native Mexico in 2001 to make The Devil's Backbone, a chilling ghost story set during the Spanish Civil War, a time period he revisited in 2006 in his masterpiece, Pan's Labyrinth, which garnered enormous critical praise worldwide and won three Academy Awards. He has also directed several successful comic-book inspired films such as Blade II, Hellboy I, and Hellboy II. He will direct two films based on THE HOBBIT, to be produced by Peter Jackson.