Tim Burton has been named as president of the jury for the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.

The director, who accepted the appointment from Cannes chiefs Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux, 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 honour 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 festival president Jacob added, “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 humour will pervade the Croisette, bringing Christmas to all. Christmas and Halloween…”

Burton follows in the footsteps of such recent Cannes jury presidents as Wong Kar-wai, Stephen Frears, Sean Penn and actress Isabelle Huppert, who led the jury last year.

Burton was a member of the main jury under Isabelle Adjani in 1997. His feature Ed Wood screened at the festival in 1995. This year’s festival runs from May 12 to 23.