Spike Lee Makes History For Cannes Film Festival Jury
According to reports from Page Six, festival organizers hope the legendary director is going to “shake things up” at the gathering of the cinema world’s most elite talent.
On being chosen for the prestigious position, Lee said he was “honored to be the first person of the African diaspora.”
Festival organizer Thierry Fremaux said that naming the first black president of the Cannes jury wasn’t a political decision, but rather, “a message of universality.” While speaking on France’s RTL radio on Tuesday, the organizer also noted the diverse nationalities of jury members and directors whose films are screened at the festival.
A lot of Spike Lee’s films have been shown at Cannes in the past, with his most recent, BlacKkKlansman, winning a major prize there just last year.
“When I got the call … I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Spike said in a letter. He went on to say that Cannes “changed the trajectory of who I became in world cinema.”
The festival said the following in a statement on Tuesday:
”Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas.”
The president of last year’s jury was Mexican director Alejandro Iñárritu, while the top prize was presented to Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite.
2020’s event runs from May 12-23, and we can expect the rest of the jury members joining Spike to be announced sometime in April.