Cinema: Michael Mann named head of Venice jury
Heat, Last of the Mohicans director 'a total filmmaker'01 June, 14:50
Mann, known for Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, The Insider and Collateral as well as TV hit Miami Vice, will lead the jurors from August 29 to September 8 at the world's oldest film fest's 69th edition. Tasked with awarding the Golden Lion and other prizes, Mann has never before presided over an international festival.
The board of directors of the Venice Biennale, which is chaired by Paolo Baratta and oversees the film fest, confirmed his appointment based on the recommendation of the new director of the festival, Alberto Barbera.
A Chicago native, Mann appeared at the 61st festival out of competition in 2004 with his thriller Collateral, starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx.
The film Texas Killing Fields (2011), produced by Mann and directed by his daughter Ami Canaan Mann, competed in last year's Venice fest. His first feature was television film The Jericho Mile, which earned Mann the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director.
His biggest critical successes came in the 1990s with Heat (1995), featuring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and The Insider (1999) with Russell Crowe, which received seven Academy Award nominations, including one for Mann's direction.
"He is a total filmmaker and one of the most influential and representative figures in contemporary American cinema," Venice organizers said. Renowned Italian cinematographer Dante Spinotti works frequently on Mann's pictures.