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Venice 2007: Tim Burton honoured

Tim Burton honoured at Venice

Story by Jack Foley

TIM Burton has been honoured with the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award at the 64th Venice Film Festival.

The prestigious accolade was presented to him on Wednesday, September 5 (2007) by his friend and long-time collaborator Johnny Depp.

Festival organisers described Burton “one of America’s bravest, most visionary and innovative film-makers” following a long list of critically-acclaimed films including Sleepy Hollow, Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas and, most recently, The Corpse Bride.

Wednesday was even dubbed “Tim Burton Day” at the festival in his honour and hundreds of fans turned out to catch a glimpse of the filmmaker, his partner Helena Bonham Carter and Depp.

Commenting on the award, Burton, 49, said he was “very honoured” and added. “It means a lot to me. Hopefully it just inspires me to keep going.”

He also joked that the award was better than an Oscar, saying: “It’s actually a lot more beautiful-looking thing than a bald, naked man.”

After the prize-giving ceremony, Burton’s recently restored 1993 stop-motion animation A Nightmare Before Christmas was shown. It’s due for another pre-Christmas cinema release this winter.

Burton began his film career in 1985 with the film Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and quickly went on to establish himself as one of the most innovative filmmakers around.

He directed the first two Batman movies, as well as more arthouse pictures such as Ed Wood and Mars Attacks.

His next film will see him reuniting once again with Depp and is the eagerly anticipated Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which was also unveiled at the festival.

It’s a movie version of the acclaimed Stephen Sondheim musical, with Depp playing the eponymous serial killer barber alongside Burton’s partner, Helena Bonham Carter.

Check out photos from Tim Burton Day