Director Spike Lee will serve as President of the Jury at the 73rd edition of Cannes Film Festival, taking place from Tuesday, May 12 to Saturday May 23, 2020. The Official Selection and the composition of the Jury will be revealed in mid-April.
Spike Lee will succeed Alejandro G. Iñárritu, whose Jury, in 2019, awarded the Palme d’or to Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which continues to be a smash hit in cinemas around the world and just won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.
On behalf of the Cannes Film Festival , its Board of Directors and its teams, Pierre Lescure, President, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate, are delighted to welcome both the artist and the man: “Spike 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. Lee’s flamboyant personality is sure to shake things up. What kind of President of the Jury will he be? Find out in Cannes!”
Spike Lee has a long relationship with the festival, starting way back in 1986 with his first feature film She’s Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse in the Director’s Fortnight. In 2018, after a 22-year absence, Brooklyn-based director Spike Lee returned to the Competition with BlacKkKlansman, which won the Grand Prix followed by the the first Oscar for one of his films.
Spike Lee issued a statement,:
“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. 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.
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.
It started way back in 1986 – my first feature film She’s Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse in the Director’s Fortnight. The next joint was in 1989 – Do The Right Thing, an Official Selection in Competition. And I don’t have the time nor space to write about the cinematic explosion that jumped off, still relative to this, 30 years later.
Then, Jungle Fever, 1991 – Official Selection in Competition, Girl 6, 1996 – Official Selection Out of Competition, Summer Of Sam, 1999 – Director’s Fortnight, Ten Minutes Older, 2002 – Official Selection in Un Certain Regard and then BlacKkKlansman, 2018 – Official Selection in Competition where it won the Grand Prix, which became the launching pad for the world theatrical release which led to my Academy Award for screenplay.
So if you were keeping score that’s 7 Spike Joints to be chosen.
In closing I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival
Spike Lee, President of the Jury at the 73rd Festival de Cannes.
Peace and Love,
Da People’s Republic Of Brooklyn, New York.