The legendary director can now add another accolade to his long list of accomplishments.
Following the success of his film, BlackKKKlansmen, the iconic Cannes Film Festival announced Spike Lee will lead the Cannes Film Festival's 2020 jury, making him the first black person in the French festival's 73 year history to serve as a jury president.
As president, he will lead the group of artists who will choose which films will receive an award.
The Brooklyn native released a statement following news of the honor saying "In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere."
SPIKE LEE’S STATEMENT
" In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be President of Cannes Jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time.
To me the Cannes Film Festival (besides being the most important film festival in the world - no disrespect to anybody) has had a great impact on my film career. You could easily say Cannes changed the trajectory of who I became in world cinema.
It started way back in 1986 – my first feature film She's Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse in the Director's Fortnight. The next joint was in 1989 – Do The Right Thing, an Official Selection in Competition. And I don't have the time nor space to write about the cinematic explosion that jumped off, still relative to this, 30 years later.
Then, Jungle Fever, 1991 - Official Selection in Competition, Girl 6, 1996 - Official Selection Out of Competition, Summer Of Sam, 1999 - Director's Fortnight , Ten Minutes Older, 2002 - Official Selection in Un Certain Regard and then BlacKkKlansman, 2018 - Official Selection in Competition where it won the Grand Prix, which became the launching pad for the world theatrical release which led to my Academy Award for screenplay.
So if you were keeping score that's 7 Spike Joints to be chosen.
In closing I'm honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival
The Lee family sincerely thanks the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux and the great people of France who have supported my film career throughout four decades. I will always treasure this special relationship.
Peace and Love,
SPIKE LEE DA PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
The Cannes Film Festival takes place May 12th - 23rd.