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Guillermo del Toro had a female-centric film turned down by major studio Content Exchange

Guillermo del Toro had a film turned down because it was "female-centric".

Hollywood is currently coming under scrutiny for its lack of female directors, producers and female-orientated movies, and the 57-year-old Mexican filmmaker revealed he once tried to persuade a studio to take on a project with a predominately female cast, but his efforts were shut down almost immediately.

In an interview with Variety, del Toro said: "The message that is really strong for studios, and one that they understand, is box office.

"So with 'Black Panther', 'Get Out', 'Wonder Woman' - these are movies for female audiences, African American audiences, and for many years that was a very difficult discussion to have with studios.

"One project I had at a major studio no longer than three years ago was turned down because it was female-centric.

"I went to bat for it and literally could not move them one inch. It was myopic. These successes show the studios that fortune favours the bold.

"People are interested in seeing themselves in a way they haven't seen themselves.

"Success is the moment we are colour-blind. When an actor is cast not because it was written specifically but because he or she is right for the part and the actor has such power and visibility that they can command the lead in any project."

Del Toro is currently receiving continual praise for his latest fantasy romance 'The Shape of Water' and won the coveted Best Picture golden statuette at this year's Academy Awards.

Picking up the final prize of the night, the filmmaker - who also scooped Best Director - dedicated the award to aspiring filmmakers.

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He said: "I want to dedicate this to every young filmmaker, the youth who is showing us how things are done in every country of the world.

"I was a kid enamoured with movies growing up in Mexico, I thought this could never happen.

"It happens and I want to tell you everyone that is dreaming of using genre or fantasy to tell stories about things that are real in the world today, you can do it.

"This is a door -- kick it open and come in."

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