Saturday, June 15, 2024

Filmmaker challenges airline to give 10 free flights a year to worthy citizens

To celebrate his birthday on Friday, Oscar-winning film director Guillermo del Toro asked for a special present from Aeroméxico: he challenged the airline to provide free flights for outstanding but economically hard-up Mexicans.  

“On my birthday, I invite @Aeromexico and @AeromexicoUSA to make, starting in 2021, the commitment to initially give, for three years, 10 annual trips to outstanding Mexicans who need to travel and do not have support,” he published on his Twitter account Friday morning.

The airline responded an hour later with a resounding yes, prompting numerous accolades from fans. “Happy BDay!! And congratulations for this brilliant connection with @Aeromexico in the name of the Mexican people!!!” one fan wrote. “I’m from Brazil and I’m jealous that we don’t have a person and a company like you both!! Big Love.”

This is not the first time that the filmmaker has shown support for fellow Mexicans

In 2018 filmmaker Cristian Arredondo Narváez won one of the three coveted scholarships to study animation at the prestigious Gobelins School in France, but the award only covered tuition, and not travel. When del Toro got wind of Arredondo’s predicament, the director announced he would pay for his ticket to Paris. 

Del Toro also established the Jenkins-Del Toro Scholarship fund last year, which provides young filmmakers with up to $60,000 to pursue film studies.

In June 2019, he famously paid for 12 students on Mexico’s math team to travel to the International Mathematics Olympiad in the United Kingdom where they won four metals, and the International Mathematics Competition in South Africa where they won seven medals, two of which were gold. 

And in June of this year, del Toro, along with fellow director Alejandro González Iñárritu and actress Salma Hayek, donated to an emergency fund for Mexican film industry workers affected by coronavirus work stoppages, which provides them with 20,000-peso (US $945) grants.

Del Toro, who won four Academy Awards in 2018 for his film The Shape of Water, left Mexico after his father’s kidnapping in 1997 but remains invested in the well-being of his countrymen. His generosity is well-known, as is his criticism of the government, and the director uses the platform fame provides to speak out against perceived injustices.

In 2014, he and fellow directors Alfonso and Jonas Cuarón and Iñárritu read a statement at a Museum of Modern Art film benefit in New York denouncing the Mexican government’s handling of the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero in 2014.

The following year, del Toro used his platform at the Guadalajara Film Festival to speak out against drug violence in the country. “It’s one thing to talk about a social crisis, but another to talk about absolute social decay,” he said.

And earlier this year after police in Tala, Jalisco, handcuffed, shoved and berated a man who went out to get food for his family in April with a mask in his hands rather than on his face, del Toro scolded Governor Enrique Alfaro in a scathing pair of tweets. 

“Enrique Alfaro, maybe I don’t understand things, but this is a time that requires compassion and judgment, and not this,” del Toro wrote. “Definition of brutality: excessive and irrational action without compassion. This is a citizen in the middle of a pandemic. Not a criminal,” the filmmaker also tweeted.

Del Toro, who is 56 today, has resumed filming Nightmare Alley in Toronto, which stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett and Willem Dafoe.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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