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(via our good friend Arnaud Trouvé @cinecharlie)

(Press Release) The 69th Festival de Cannes will be presided by the Australian director, screenwriter and producer, George Miller. Along with his Jury, it will fall to him to award the Palme d’or at the close of the Festival, to be held from 11 to 22 May.

On receiving his invitation from the Festival, George Miller exclaimed, “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!”

It was in Cannes last May that Mad Max: Fury Road set out on its fantastic cavalcade across our screens. The film, shown Out of Competition in the Official Selection, marked the return not only of the hero of the legendary saga for the millions of fans of Max Rockatansky, but also the comeback of his creator, George Miller, and of the visionary filmmaking that made him a household name around the world.

The roots of George Miller’s career, alongside those of Peter Weir, Bruce Beresford and Phillip Noyce stretch back to the golden age of Australian cinema from the 1980s. Originally from a small village in Queensland, George Miller wrote and directed Violence in the Cinema, part 1 in 1971. Produced by his friend Byron Kennedy, with whom he founded the Kennedy Miller company, the short film picked up two prizes from the Australian Film Institute. This official recognition encouraged George Miller to pursue a career in film and to make his first feature.

In 1979, Mad Max, inspired by the “outback gothic” genre sweeping Australia at the time, introduced Mel Gibson and was a worldwide smash hit. A superb pas-de-deux with American cinema, this ultra-violent futuristic film brought the action film genre a touch of class with its masterly combination of Road Movie, Western and Science-Fiction elements. A legendary saga was born which in turn gave rise to Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior in 1981, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985 and Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015.

Throughout his career, George Miller has constantly experimented with a variety of genres, brilliantly reconciling mass audience expectations and the highest artistic standards. In 1983, along with John Landis, Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante, he directed the final segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Then came The Witches of ‘Eastwick in 1987 and the intimate drama Lorenzo’s Oil in 1992, starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte, which picked up Oscar nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Actress.

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. Happy Feet 2 took up the story in 2011.

In 2015, 30 years after the last Mad Max, the 4th chapter of the post-apocalyptic epic, complete with feminist and anti-totalitarian overtones, once again took cinemas by storm and has been the talk of the press and the festival circuit ever since. With ten nominations for the 2016 Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director, it recently scooped no fewer than nine prizes at the Critics Choice Awards, including that of Best Director.

The 70-year-old Miller has won international acclaim for these spectacular and jubilant creations, as well as for his eclecticism, inventiveness and sheer audacity. 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.

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  • Certainly an “unofficial” award for his achievement in Mad Max!

  • Thanks for the mention! I thought of you as soon as I read the Cannes email this morning 🙂

  • Koleś

    First Aussie to preside the Cannes Jury. Good for him.

  • Fantastic

  • Cameron

    He is awaited!

  • PollyWa

    I remember Miller talking about when he was on the Cannes jury, not sure when. He and William Goldman (!) hung out together and formed an agreement not to read anything about any of the movies before they saw them so that they would view everything with fresh eyes.
    p.s I haven’t seen it for years but I loved his Twilight Zone segment.

  • Milli

    Yaay Grandpa! Amazing news.

  • Pete Miesel

    He has had a damn unique career.

  • Elton Almeida

    Hugely overrated director. Fury Road is his only amazing, masterful work.

  • Pete Miesel

    While he was technically not the director of Babe, what was on screen was virtually all of his doing.

    In terms of DIY filmmaking, the first Mad Max is a masterwork. Road Warrior is the second best action film of the 80’s behind Raiders of course.

    Lorenzo’s Oil is very underrated in my opinion.

    His behind the scenes influence on the Australian film industry is fairly legendary as well.

  • What are we thinking is gonna be there? new Haneke, Dardennes, Almodovar are pretty much locks…maybe “Silence?” I’m not updated about what’s coming from Asia.

  • Sylvain Labrousse

    Haneke has not started to shoot yet (begins in summer I think)

  • Really? Ok, thanks.

  • RobertRoss

    Maybe the new new Malick?

  • RobertRoss

    With an amazing John Lithgow.

  • Sylvain Labrousse

    At least that’s what the french newspapers said 😉 It’ll be shot in the north of France, near Calais. Huppert and Trintignant will lead the cast.
    Almodovar is a lock, I agree !! Not sure about the Dardenne although it’d be surprising to see them missing the festival.

  • Oh yeah. Aren’t two coming out? I’m sure we could come up with Dozens if we think about it.

  • Gotcha. Hope Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama” is done on time because that is going to actually make me go myself (I wish)

  • Igor Sousa

    I believe the new James Gray’s film will be (hopefully) there.

  • Igor Sousa

    The most incredible part of George Miller’s life and career is that he is originally a….doctor! This is kindda amazing

  • Gray?! Hunnam?! Pattinson?! <3

  • Chung Fang

    Good publicity for Miller. Hopefully this will help a bit for his DGA chances.

  • Benutty

    I heard Lost City of Z already won the Palme d’Or

  • Pete Miesel

    Hence his dynamite Lorenzo’s Oil script.

  • Renard N. Bansale

    His off-the-record response: “I hope this is for not putting my film in competition last year, guys.”

  • Jamie Teller

    Doesn’t he just seem like the nicest guy?

  • Milli

    Yep!

  • Ryan Adams

    Forgive me if you’ve already done your duty.=, but I’m going to spam some posts.

    You gang all know about the Awards Daily “Daily Awards” yes?

    It’s
    a simple ballot that gathers the AD readers’ picks for the Oscar
    nominees — the movies and filmmakers wyou chose before the actual
    nominations were announced.

    These are AD’s own choices. Never mind the nominations the Academy gave us.

    It’s really easy to fill out this ballot. Seriously, you can complete do it in about 1 minute.

    Please take a look if you haven’t already:
    http://www.ellipticcurvecreations.com/

    Here’s the official description:

    This
    is a new twist on our annual Simulated Ballot. We’ve decided run two
    Final Voting Phases in parallel. We’re presenting the first half of the
    final ballot tonight. It is based on the choices made by Awards Daily
    readers before the actual Oscar Nominations were announced. Here’s how
    Rob explains it:

    This is the final
    ballot for the first ever Daily Awards.
    These nominees were
    determined by the 8th Annual Simulated Ballot. Unlike previous years
    when we discarded own choices for nominations when the actual Oscar
    nominees were announced, you can now vote for your own favorite
    nominees.

    This ballot process will follow the same rules as the
    final ballot in years past, but the Daily Awards ballot will only offer
    the ten categories we voted on a few weeks ago.

    These are not the
    Oscar nominees. These are the nominees chosen by the 1500
    voters who participated in Phase 1 of the Simulated
    Ballot.

    http://www.ellipticcurvecreations.com/

  • Xavier Dolan is a Cannes favorite too 🙂 “Juste la fin du monde” starring Cotillard, Seydoux, Cassel, Ulliel, …

  • Claudiu Cristian Dobre

    Did it. Loved the nominees… 🙂 Definitely better than the Oscar lineups, which we expected, of course.

  • Can’t wait to see what his jury picks!

  • Just voted. I figure that since I still manage to comment once a decade, I’m still eligible to vote. LOL!

  • Ryan Adams

    of course you’re eligible!
    you’re clearly “Active in the Industry” under the “Gettin All Up In Errbody’s Bizness” clause 🙂

  • I’m like a modern-day Hedda Hopper, without the crazy politics, but still able to pull off the hats!

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