American director Tim Burton, who has films like Edward Scissorhands and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to his credit, will head the jury at the 63rd Cannes Film
Festival. The director said that heading up the nine-member jury of the prestigious festival will be a "great honour".
"After spending my early life watching triple features and 48-hour horror movie marathons, I'm finally ready for this. When you think of Cannes you think of world cinema. And as films have always been like dreams to me, this is a dream come true," Burton said in a statement in Paris today. The names of the other eight members of the Cannes jury will be announced in April.
"He's a magician," said Festival president Gilles Jacob, hailing Burton's talent for bringing to life hauntingly beautiful filmscapes and edgy characters. "We hope his sweet madness and gothic humour will pervade the Croisette," the celebrated seaside boulevard of Cannes, he added.
Some 20-odd movies will vie for the coveted Palm d'Or in the festival, which will be held from May 12 to 23. Burton is reportedly helming a dark tale of the classic, Sleeping Beauty where he will be retelling the fairytale through the eyes of the evil Dark Fairy Maleficent.
The director, who began his career with animation, has made films like Ed Wood, Mars Attacks, Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow, Big Fish, The Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeney Todd.
His next feature, a 3D adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, starring his emblematic actor Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, will open in March.