In a press release, Burton said, "After spending my early life watching triple features and 48-hour horror movie marathons, I'm finally ready for this. It's a great honor and I look forward, with my fellow jurors, to watching some great films from around the world. 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."
Cannes president Gilles Jacob noted, "It's the first time an artist whose origins are in animation will preside over the jury of the Festival de Cannes. A filmmaker with a heart of gold and silver hands, Tim Burton is first and foremost a poet. He’s a magician of visual delights who turns the screen into a fairy wonder. We hope his sweet madness and gothic humor will pervade the Croisette, bringing Christmas to all. Christmas and Halloween..."
The announcement of the jury president, which generally comes in January each year -- albeit usually earlier than today's announcement -- heralds the beginning of the long but swift-paced march to the Croisette in May.
With Sundance in full-swing and Berlin about to open in a few weeks, attention will fast be turning to the mother of all international film festivals and what will open, what is rumored for competition, what will be ready and what won't. (As if on cue, just as I typed those words, the first Cannes newsletter arrived in my in box...)
The official press conference of the competition films will be held, as usual, in mid-late April.
The festival runs May 12 to 23.