Posted on January 17, 2020

Spike Lee Named Cannes Film Festival Jury President

IOL News, January 14, 2020

“BlacKkKlansman” filmmaker Spike Lee has been named the Cannes Film Festival jury president for 2020.

The “BlacKkKlansman” director – who movie won the Grand Prix at the iconic event in 2018 – has a long history with the festival stretching back to ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ and ‘Do the Right Thing’ in the 1980s, and he’s excited to be serving for the 73rd edition.

He said: “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.”

The 62-year-old filmmaker – who succeeds Alejandro G. Inarritu – admitted he was “shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time” when he was offered the chance to preside over the jury this year.

He added: “In this life I have lived…my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere.”

In a joint statement, the festival’s president Pierre Lescure and director Thierry Fremaux praised Lee’s “valuable” perspective.

They said: “Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas.

“Lee’s flamboyant personality is sure to shake things up. What kind of president of the jury will he be? Find out in Cannes!”

The event will take place on May 12-13, and the official selection – along with the rest of the jury – is set to be confirmed in April.

From last year’s Cannes Film Festival, “Pain and Glory”, “Parasite”, “Les Miserables”, “For Sama” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” have all been nominated for Oscars next month.