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Film

Mad Max's George Miller to head Cannes Film Festival jury

Australian filmmaker George Miller has been chosen to lead this year's Cannes Film Festival jury, a move the festival calls a celebration of genre cinema.

He's known for not fitting into boxes. Director, screenwriter and producer George Miller, 70, created the high-speed, apocalyptic "Mad Max" series, but also the drama "Lorenzo's Oil," and children's classics like "Babe" and "Happy Feet."

Miller is the first Australian to head the jury for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which takes place this year from May 11-22 in the French resort town on the Cote d'Azur. The festival culminates in the coveted Palme d'Or awards ceremony.

Originally trained as a doctor, Miller gave up a career in medicine to pursue film. The first "Mad Max" film, starring a young Mel Gibson, came out in 1979. Miller has said the road movies were inspired by his own childhood in the rural, car-obsessed region of Queensland in Australia, where he grew up as the son of Greek immigrants.

He directed additional "Mad Max" movies in 1981 and 1985, and his fourth sequel released in 2015 was another commercial and critical hit.

Another one of Miller's major hits came with "Witches of Eastwick" in 1987, starring Jack Nicholson, Cher and Susan Sarandon. Starting in the 90s, he dabbled with success in children's film, releasing the classic "Babe" in 1995 and "Babe: Pig in the City" in 1998.

He won an Oscar and a BAFTA for Best Animated Feature for "Happy Feet" in 2006. His most recent "Mad Max" picture, entitled "Mad Max: Fury Road," has obtained 10 nominations for the upcoming Oscars, making it the second most-nominated film after "The Revenant." This year's Academy Awards will be presented on February 28.

kbm/eg (AFP, AP)

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