Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro's relationship with his father has become much more "human" following his kidnap ordeal in Mexico.

The Pacific Rim director's entrepreneur father, Federico, was abducted in Guadalajara in 1997 and the family had to come up with a hefty ransom to get him back.

Del Toro's dad spent 72 days as a captive and the period changed the dynamic of the family.

"It was a very changing experience," the moviemaker says. "My relationship with my dad is much more human now. I see him as a man, not as my dad.

"What changes is you go from being a son to being a man, saving a man. My dad was kidnapped for 72 days. All my brothers and I and my mother, we had to work really hard to pay for his ransom."

Del Toro and his family fled Mexico after the kidnapping ordeal and at one point he feared he'd never return.

In 2013, he told Nylon magazine, "All of us lived a block away from my parents, and we used to eat together three times a week. After the kidnapping, some of them (family members) went to Texas, some to another city, and I came to Los Angeles. We ended up scattered, and that pains me more than ever.

"Mexico is my home, so I miss it more than anything. If I could, I'd live there and make movies there. I can't go back because of security."

But he did return two years later (15), for an appearance at his hometown's Guadalajara Film Festival, which he helped co-found 30 years ago.

During a speech at the movie event, he touched upon his fears for the safety of his fellow Mexicans, stating, "It's like walking into a cantina with a pistol and there's no structure in place to stop what happens next. It's one thing to talk about a social crisis, but another to talk about absolute social decay."

The director, along with his filmmaker compatriots Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron, have all been outspoken on their view of the Mexican government, even issuing a statement in 2014 which criticised the "blurred lines between organised crime and the high-ranking officials in Mexican government."