Tim Burton, the creative juggernaut behind such animated favorites as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Corpse Bride will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 64th Venice International Film Festival. This year’s event takes place Aug. 29 through Sept. 8, and the award will be bestowed on Wednesday, Sept. 5, during a special ‘Tim Burton Day.’
This is the second consecutive year that the Venice Film Festival has honored an American filmmaker with the prestigious Golden Lion. Last year’s recipient was David Lynch, director of the cult classics Eraserhead and Blue Velvet, as well as the more recent Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire. Lynch is also an animation fan and makes his own animated shorts for his website, www.davidlynch.com.
‘Tim Burton is a cinematic genius, the most imaginative child of the new age of cinema,’ says Venice Film Festival director Marco M’ller. ‘He has a unique talent of being able to imbue his fantasies with emotional depth. More insolently pop than most of the contemporary new directors, and less eager for approval than most of the older ones, there is not a bankable Hollywood director with a flintier sense of cinema than him.’
Burton chose the Venice fest to present international premiere of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 1994 and the world premiere of Corpse Bride in 2005. He is currently in production on a big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical thriller Sweeney Todd, a co-production of Warner Bros. Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures, and is also producing a feature-length, CG-animated extension of Shane Acker’s Oscar-nominated short film, 9.