Guillermo Navarro
Guillermo Navarro
Guillermo Jorge Navarro Solares

1955 (age 68–69)
Mexico City, Mexico
Alma materNational Autonomous University of Mexico
Occupation(s)Cinematographer, television director
Years active1981–present
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Cinematography: Pan's Labyrinth 2006

Guillermo Jorge Navarro Solares, AMC, ASC (born July 29, 1955) is a Mexican cinematographer and television director.[1] He has worked in Hollywood since 1994 and is a frequent collaborator of Guillermo del Toro and Robert Rodriguez.[2] In 2007, he won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and the Goya Award for Best Cinematography for del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. His subsequent filmography runs the gamut from lower-budget arthouse and genre films to high-profile blockbusters like Hellboy, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Night at the Museum, and Pacific Rim.

Navarro's directing debut came with a 2012 music video for musician Mia Maestro titled "Blue Eyed Sailor", co-directed with media artist Juan Azulay, also featuring son Alvaro Navarro's cinematography. He has since directed episodes of series like Hannibal and Luke Cage, and was an executive producer on the National Geographic documentary series Hostile Planet, for which he earned his first Primetime Emmy nomination.[3]

Early life and education

Navarro was born Guillermo Jorge Navarro Solares in 1955 in Mexico City. He began taking still photographs at age 13 when took a photography workshop in middle school, and built his own darkroom. He worked for several years as a freelance photographer, working on everything from album covers to fashion photography. He attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he graduated with a degree in Sociology.[4]


Navarro began working in the film industry when his sister, a producer, hired him as on-set still and continuity photographer for one of her films. The experience triggered an interest in cinematography, and he began working as a camera assistant. Rather than working his way up through the Mexican film industry the traditional way, he instead moved to Paris where he became the apprentice of cinematographer Ricardo Aronovich. He worked for around 10 years before shooting his first feature.


Navarro quickly formed a partnership with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, first by shooting commercials then later his directorial debut Cronos, which won the prestigious Golden Ariel. Navarro moved to the United States in 1994, where he shot several films for director Robert Rodriguez and worked with high-profile directors Renny Harlin and Quentin Tarantino. He returned to Mexico in 2001 to shoot del Toro's The Devil's Backbone.

Navarro's most acclaimed work to date came in 2006 when he shot del Toro's dark fantasy drama Pan's Labyrinth.[5] Navarro and Del Toro had to work with a largely unfamiliar Spanish crew due to their usual crew's unavailability. Navarro shot the film using his personal Moviecam Compact and Arriflex 435 ES cameras and Zeiss Ultra Prime and Variable Prime lenses. He used three different Kodak film stocks: Vision2 200T 5217, Vision2 500T 5218, and Vision 250D 5246, depending on the lighting conditions under which a scene was filmed. Much of the film was shot using day for night, underexposing the film three or four F stops. He purposefully kept lighting effects that could only be attained with sunlight, which jarred the image when it passed itself as night, creating an aura of experimentation. Because of the awkwardly-shaped spaces of the fantasy sets, Navarro had to be creative with his lighting, finding places to put his lamps that also didn't disrupt the image. A lot of light was strictly attained by bouncing it into the set. For certain scenes, the crew also drilled tiny holes into the walls of the set and placed little lights into the spaces.[6]

Navarro's work earned him an Academy Award, a Goya Award, an Ariel Award, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography.


Navarro began directing in 2013 with an episode of Hannibal. He has subsequently directed episodes for shows like The Bridge, Narcos, Preacher, and Luke Cage. He also shot the pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery, directed by David Semel.

In 2019, Navarro made his producing debut as an executive producer on the National Geographic documentary series Hostile Planet. The series was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.[7][8]


His work often features very vivid blues and yellows which often take up most of the image, and the film's grain structure often switches between well-defined and sharp, and somewhat smoothed over or very fine.



Short film

Year Title Director Notes
1973 Sur: sureste 2604 Paul Leduc Documentary short
1995 The Misbehavers Robert Rodriguez Segment of Four Rooms
2004 Toothpaste Ben Younger With Kristal Villarreal
2007 Blood Brothers Vishal Bhardwaj
2008 What We Take from Each Other Scott Z. Burns


Year Title Director Notes
1979 Esta voz entre muchas Humberto Ríos
1981 El día en que vienen los muertos. Mazatecos (I) Luis Mandoki
1982 El día que vinieron los muertos
2008 It Might Get Loud Davis Guggenheim With Erich Roland


Year Title Director
1986 Amor a la vuelta de la esquina Alberto Cortés
1990 Morir en el golfo Alejandro Pelayo
1991 Cabeza de Vaca Nicolás Echevarría
Intimidades de un cuarto de baño Jaime Humberto Hermosillo
1992 Cronos Guillermo del Toro
Vinaya Josse De Pauw
Peter van Kraaij
1993 Dollar Mambo Paul Leduc
1995 Desperado Robert Rodriguez
1996 From Dusk till Dawn
Dream for an Insomniac Tiffanie DeBartolo
The Long Kiss Goodnight Renny Harlin
1997 Spawn Mark A.Z. Dippé
Jackie Brown Quentin Tarantino
1999 Stuart Little Rob Minkoff
2001 Spy Kids Robert Rodriguez
The Devil's Backbone Guillermo del Toro
Broken Silence Montxo Armendáriz
2003 Imagining Argentina Christopher Hampton
2004 Hellboy Guillermo del Toro
2005 Zathura: A Space Adventure Jon Favreau
2006 Pan's Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro
Night at the Museum Shawn Levy
2008 Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro
2011 The Resident Antti Jokinen
I Am Number Four D. J. Caruso
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Bill Condon
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
2013 Pacific Rim Guillermo del Toro
2014 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Shawn Levy
2018 London Fields Mathew Cullen
2020 Dolittle Stephen Gaghan
2021 The Unforgivable Nora Fingscheidt


Year Title Director Notes
1989 Trying Times Michael Lindsay-Hogg Episode "The Hit List"
1993 The Cover Girl Murders James A. Contner TV movie
1994 The Cisco Kid Luis Valdez
ABC Afterschool Special Lorna Davis Episode "Just Chill"
2012 Mockingbird Lane Bryan Fuller TV special
2017 Star Trek: Discovery David Semel Episode "The Vulcan Hello"
2018 Cocaine Godmother Himself TV movie
2019 Godfather of Harlem John Ridley Episode "By Whatever Means Necessary"

Music video

Year Title Artist
2016 Fade Kanye West
My Way Calvin Harris


Short film


Year Title Notes
2013-15 Hannibal 6 episodes
2014 The Bridge Episode "Rakshasa"
2015 The Whispers Episode "Meltdown"
Narcos Episodes "The Men of Always" and "The Palace in Flames"
Limitless Episode "The Legend of Marcos Ramos"
Sleepy Hollow Episode "The Sisters Mills"
2016 Damien Episode "The Deliverer"
Preacher Episode "Sundowner"
Luke Cage Episode "Who's Gonna Take the Weight?"
2018 Cocaine Godmother TV movie
2019-21 Godfather of Harlem 5 episodes
2020 For Life Episodes "Witness" and "Burner"
2022 Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities Episode "Lot 36"
2024 Hotel Cocaine 4 episodes

Music video

Year Title Artist
2012 Blue Eyed Sailor Mía Maestro

Executive producer


Year Title Notes
2019 Hostile Planet 6 episodes
2024 Hotel Cocaine 1 episode
TBA Lions of the Sea

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title Result
2006 Academy Awards Best Cinematography Pan's Labyrinth Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Best Cinematography Won
Camerimage Golden Frog Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Cinematography Won
Goya Awards Best Cinematography Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best Cinematography Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best Cinematographer Won
Ariel Award Best Cinematography Won
BAFTA Awards Best Cinematography Nominated
British Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography Nominated
2008 Satellite Awards Best Cinematography It Might Get Loud Nominated
2019 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Documentary Series Hostile Planet Nominated


  1. ^ Scott, A. O. (November 21, 2001). The New York Times. The Devil's Backbone (review overview).
  2. ^ "Guillermo Navarro AMC ASC / Pacific Rim". British Cinematographer. 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  3. ^ Carey, Matthew (2019-08-22). "Oscar Winner Guillermo Navarro Goes For Emmy Gold With National Geographic Docuseries 'Hostile Planet'". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  4. ^ "GUILLERMO NAVARRO". Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  5. ^ Calhoun, John (January 2007). "Fear and Fantasy". American Cinematographer. American Society of Cinematographers. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Picone, Jack (2015-01-29). "The Best Cinematography: Exploring The Light And Dark In Pan's Labyrinth". Student Resources. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  7. ^ "Guillermo Navarro, ASC Discusses Hostile Planet at Clubhouse - The American Society of Cinematographers". Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  8. ^ "'Hostile Planet': Exec Producer Guillermo Navarro Featured in New 'Behind the Screen' Podcast". The Hollywood Reporter. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 2019-10-17.