George Miller, director of the action film franchise Mad Max, will preside over the jury of the 69th Cannes Film Festival, organisers have announced. The annual film festival will be held from 11 to 22 May 2016.
"What an unmitigated delight!" the Australian director, screenwriter and producer said on his being the head of jury. "To be there in the middle of this storied festival at the unveiling of cinematic treasures from all over the planet...to spend time in passionate discourse with fellow members of the jury... such an honour," he said. "I'll be there with bells on!"
Festival organisers said they were all set to welcome a "big-hearted film lover and a great human being" referring to Miller's versatile approach to film-making. "Throughout his career, George Miller has constantly experimented with a variety of genres, brilliantly reconciling mass audience expectations and the highest artistic standards," the organisers said.
They cited examples of how Miller has successfully gone experimenting from making thrillers to drama to animated features. "In 1983, along with John Landis, Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante, he directed the final segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Then [he] came [up with] The Witches of Eastwick in 1987 and the intimate drama Lorenzo's Oil in 1992," the organisers said.
"In 1995, he adapted and produced Babe, directed by Chris Noonan, which picked up seven Oscar nominations including Best Film and Best Adaptation. In 2006, his first animated film Happy Feet was a huge box office hit and garnered the Oscar for Best Animated Feature," they added.
Miller's recent Mad Max film, the fourth instalment of the post-apocalyptic epic, was released last year, 30 years after the last film of the franchise. The film has got ten nominations for the 2016 Oscars, including best film and best director categories. It is the second most-nominated film of the 88th Academy Awards after Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer, The Revenant.