Spike Lee Is the First Black President of Cannes Film Festival Jury

Robyn Mowatt Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she…
Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

A few of Lee’s past films shown at the prestigious affair include She’s Gotta Have It, Jungle Fever and BlacKkKlansman.

Filmmaker Spike Lee has been announced as the latest president of the 73rd Cannes Film Festival jury. 

This makes Lee the first Black president of the prestigious jury in the 73-year history of the festival. The Oscar-winning director has had two of his cult classics She’s Gotta Have It and Jungle Fever shown at Cannes, the former was his debut feature. Do The Right Thing was a a part of the festival’s main competition in 1989, reports the New York Times

Most recently, BlacKkKlansman starring John David Washington and Laura Harrier was presented in 2018, it won the Grand Prize. The energetic, racially charged film was seen as somewhat of a comeback for Lee who focused heavily on Brooklyn in the beginning of his career.

Lee’s history with Cannes was marked by a positive reviews in 1986 when She’s Gotta Have It won the Youth Prize for best young director. Do The Right Thing which was presented three years later didn’t win a prize but it did however receive a plethora of support.

In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere,” Lee shared in a statement. It also read, “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.”

The Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 12 to May 23.

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