LOS ANGELES - Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro won the best director Oscar on Sunday for his fantastical romance "The Shape of Water."
It was the first Academy Award for del Toro, who is known for making both mainstream action movies like "Hellboy" and offbeat dark fantasies like "Pan's Labyrinth."
"The greatest thing art does, our industry does, is to erase the lines in the sand - we should continue doing that - when the world tells us to make them deeper," Del Toro said in accepting the award.
Del Toro was favoured to win the directing prize after picking up the Directors Guild of America Award last month.
He received Academy Awards nominations in 2007 for "Pan's Labyrinth," but this was the first time he was nominated in the directing category.
Del Toro described his films to Reuters earlier this year as "fairytales for modern times."