Spike Lee will be the lead jury member at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Page Six has learned. Reportedly, organizers hope that by inviting Spike Lee on to the jury, he’ll bring an element of freshness to the event.
Mr. Lee claimed he felt “honored” to be the first African-American man chosen for the position. Thierry Fremaux, the festival organizer, emphasized that Lee’s hiring wasn’t borne out of politics, but rather, a message of “universality.”
During a conversation with hosts from RTL radio on Tuesday, Fremaux noted the diversity of jury members and directors who all have projects screening at the film festival. As most know, Lee’s film, BlacKkKlansman won big at the festival in 2019.
This year, the festival will run from the 12th of May until the 23rd of May. The other members of the jury will be revealed sometime in April. Regarding the way he felt when he found out, Spike stated he felt “shocked, happy,” and “surprised” by the news, but ultimately very proud as well.
The festival later released a statement in which they said that the opinions and perspectives of Lee are more valuable now than they ever have been. Cannes Film Festival is known for its cutting-edge films, many of which are meant to explore some of the more touchy subjects in popular culture.
Fans of the director know this isn’t the first time he has made history in the last two years. Last year, in February, Rachelle Lewis reported that Spike Lee had won his very first Academy Award.
His film, BlackkKlansman secured the win for Best Adapted Screenplay. Both Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson dropped the good news on Spike Lee, in addition to David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel, and Kevin Wilmott, who helped write the screenplay as well.
Throughout his career, Lee has been nominated approximately five times across five decades. In other words, his Academy Award win was a long time coming.