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Pan's Labyrinth ( , "The Faun's Labyrinth") is a 2006 Spanish language fantasy film, written and directed by Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by the Mexican film company Esperanto Films. The film was selected by the Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas (English: Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences) to represent the country in the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film.
Pan's Labyrinth takes place in Spain, in May and June, 1944, five years after the Spanish Civil War, during the early Franquist period. The narrative of the film interweaves this real world with a fantasy world centered around an overgrown abandoned labyrinth and a mysterious faun creature, with which the main character Ofelia interacts. Ofelia's stepfather, the Falangist Captain Vidal, hunts the Spanish Maquis, anarchists who fight against the Fascist reign in the region, while Ofelia's pregnant mother grows increasingly ill. Ofelia meets several strange and magical creatures who become central to her story, leading her through the trials of the old labyrinth garden. The film employs make-up, animatronics and CGI effects to create its creatures.
Del Toro stated that he considers the story to be a parable, influenced by fairy tale, and that it addresses and continues themes related to his earlier film The Devil's Backbone (2001), to which Pan's Labyrinth is a spiritual successor, according to del Toro in his director's commentary on the DVD. The original Spanish title refers to the mythological faun of Roman mythology, while the English, German, and French titles refers specifically to the faun-like Greek character Pan. However, del Toro has stated that the faun in the film is not Pan.
The film premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. It was released in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2006. In the United States and Canada, the film was given a limited release on December 29, 2006, with a wide release on January 19, 2007. Pan's Labyrinth has won numerous international awards, including three Academy Awards, the Ariel Award for Best Picture and the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. The movie was filmed in a Scots Pine forest situated in the Guadarrama mountain range, Central Spain.
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