It’s 2020 and Spike Lee has become only the first black person to ever preside over The Cannes Film Festival’s jury

Spike Lee
Spike Lee
Kirk McKoy
Spike Lee has been named jury president of The Cannes Film Festival, the world’s largest festival for film premiere. The famed film director is the first African American to hold the title in the festival’s 73-year history. Cannes received criticism in recent years for it’s lack of equality for women actresses and filmmakers. Spike was a big supporter of protests in 2018.

In a Tweeter post on Tuesday announcing the selection of Lee to the post, Cannes Film Festival said Lee’s “personality is sure to shake things up”.

Lee premiered his first film, She’s Gotta Have It, at Cannes in 1986, for which he won a youth award. He has premiered six other films since then and credits much of his success to the festival. “To me the Cannes Film Festival has had a great impact on my film career. You could easily say Cannes changed the trajectory of who I became in world cinema,” he told the press.

Lee has directed many highly acclaimed films over the years including, Do the Right Thing, School Daze, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, 4 Little Girls, Get on the Bus, He Got Game, Summer of Sam, Bamboozled, Inside Man, and The Original Kings of Comedy.

In addition to his presidential nomination, Spike Lee will also receive a Palme d’Or at this years festival, a lifetime achievement award. This year’s festival is scheduled for May on the French Riviera and as always, is closed to the public.

Submissions are still being accepted at

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