MAD MIX: Hot off the success of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Australian director, screenwriter and producer George Miller will preside the jury of the 69th Cannes Film Festival, to be held from May 11 to 22.
“What an unmitigated delight! 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 honor. I’ll be there with bells on!” the 70-year-old said in a statement.
The fourth installment in his “Mad Max” saga, “Mad Max: Fury Road” was shown out of competition in the festival’s official selection last year. It has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including best picture and directing. The movie scored nine wins at the Critics’ Choice Awards in January, including best director for Miller.
The original “Mad Max,” released in 1979, ignited Mel Gibson’s film career and was a worldwide hit, thanks to its original combination of road movie, Western and science-fiction elements. Miller’s other features include “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Lorenzo’s Oil” and “Happy Feet” — an unusually mainstream profile for a Cannes jury president.
Among those the festival has tapped in recent years are Joel and Ethan Coen, Jane Campion, Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton.
“Throughout his career, George Miller has constantly experimented with a variety of genres, brilliantly reconciling mass audience expectations and the highest artistic standards,” the festival’s organizers said.
“His nomination marks a no-holds-barred celebration of genre cinema. But above all, the 2016 Festival de Cannes is all set to welcome a big-hearted film lover and a great human being,” they added.