Spike Lee is officially the first black president of Cannes Jury.
Lee is set to make history when he presides over the 73rd annual Cannes Film Festival jury, as the first black man to be chosen for the role.
The 62-year-old filmmaker who has premiered seven films at the festival said he was “shocked, happy, surprised and proud” to learn that he will preside over the esteemed group.
“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,” Lee said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” the film festival’s official statement read.
The members of the 2020 Cannes jury are expected to be announced mid-April.