Entertainment

Director Michael Mann to chair Venice jury

American director Michael Mann will lead the jury at this year's Venice Film Festival, organizers have announced.

American director Michael Mann will lead the jury at this year's Venice Film Festival, organizers announced on Friday.

Michael Mann, seen in January, will head the jury that awards the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. (Matt Sayles/Associated Press)

Mann, 69, is known for directing crime dramas such as Heat, Public Enemies and The Insiders as well as producing films such as The Aviator and Witness. It will be his first time as chair of an international jury.

He will help chose the winner of the festival's prestigious Golden Lion and other awards. The Italian festival is scheduled for late summer, just ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera called Mann, who made his mark as producer of TV's Miami Vice, "a total filmmaker and one of the most influential and representative figures in contemporary American cinema."

Barbera has promised a "more sober, less glitzy" event after several years in which Venice was dominated by Hollywood stars. The festival, which has yet to announce its lineup, plans to launch a small film market this year.

The Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 29 to Sept. 8.