American director Michael Mann to head Venice jury

Updated: Jun 02, 2012, 18:30 PM IST

London: Hollywood film director Michael Mann will lead the jury at this year’s Venice Film Festival, organisers have announced.

Best known for crime dramas ‘Heat’ and ‘The Insider’, Mann, 69, will help decide the winner of the prestigious Golden Lion prize, the BBC reported.

Alexander Sokurov’s adaptation of Faust won the award last year. Previous winners of the award include Ang Lee, Sofia Coppola and Wim Wenders.

A statement from the festival called Mann “a total film maker…one of the most influential and representative figures in contemporary American cinema”.

Mann began his career in commercials and in the 1980s he went on to become the executive producer of the flashy, sun-blasted cop show Miami Vice.

Mann is famous for his gritty-but-stylish crime dramas, and his pin-sharp portrayals of urban America.

Mann will arrive in Venice as the city celebrates its 69th film festival.

The festival will launch a small film market this year to help it compete with Cannes and Berlin, where the buying and selling of titles is a key ingredient to their success.

The annual event will run from 29 August to 8 September this year.