Popular African-American director, Spike Lee, who was set to lead last year’s jury for the Cannes Film Festival that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic has been reappointed to lead this year’s jury at the French Riviera.
Lee will be the first Black President of the Cannes Jury at the 74th edition of the festival now scheduled to hold this year from July 6 to 17, 2021.
“Prevented last year due to the health crisis, the Festival de Cannes inaugurates this new decade with an outstanding President of the Jury, one of the greatest directors of his generation, as well as a screenwriter, actor, editor and producer. For 30 years, the tireless Spike Lee has been an astute chronicler of the questionings of his time, with a resolutely contemporary approach that’s never without a dash of levity and entertainment,” a statement by the organisers partly read.
The statement also quoted President of the Festival, Pierre Lescure, as saying: “Throughout the months of uncertainty we’ve just been through, Spike Lee has never stopped encouraging us. This support is finally coming to fruition and we could not have hoped for a more powerful personality to chart our troubled times.”
“His enthusiasm and passion for cinema has given us a huge boost of energy to prepare the great Festival that everybody has been awaiting for. The party will be great, we simply can’t wait!” says Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate.
The Official Selection and the composition of the Jury will be unveiled early June.
Several of Lee’s films premiered at Cannes, including “Do the Right Thing” in 1989. In 2018, his “BlacKkKlansman” won one of the festival’s top prizes, the Grand Prix.
Surrounded by the members of his Jury, Spike Lee is expected to award the Palme d’Or at the closing ceremony on Saturday, July 17.