On Wednesday, September 5th, 2007, director Tim Burton was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 74th Venice film festival. At 49 years old, Burton is the youngest recipient of the prestigious award. "This is the most amazing experience I've had," said the filmmaker. "It's such an honour." He continued saying that the Venice film festival had "always been about movies, not business. It's always had a special place in my heart." "Hopefully it just inspires me to keep going," the director said. He jokily said that the award was better than an Oscar. " "It's actually a lot more beautiful-looking thing than a bald, naked man," he joked.
His long-time collaborator and friend, Johnny Depp, who first worked with Tim Burton 17 years ago on the film Edward Scissorhands (released in 1990), presented him the award. Depp said, "Tim is a rare breed in today's cinema: he is a true original, a true artist, a true auteur. He's my favorite director and friend. So ... let's give him the thing, man."
Organizers of the major event said that Burton is "one of America's bravest, most visionary and innovative film-makers." To mark the occasion, the festival showed a 3-D version of Burton's stop-motion animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Though it's one of his most renowned films, Burton said he could not quite choose a personal favorite of his own movies. "I feel strangely close to all of them, they all have a certain place in your heart," he said. The festival also showed a small clip of Burton's upcoming film, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The film will be released in US theaters on December 21st, 2007. Burton talked about the film in a press conference (click here for a video).
Johnny Depp, a pregnant Helena Bonham Carter, and Tim Burton stand for the photographers.
More pictures can be seen on the Tim Burton Collective forum.