Spike Lee Named 1st Black President of Cannes Film Festival Jury

January 14, 2020

Photo by Charles Sykes Invision AP

Spike Lee has been named the new president of the Cannes Film Festival jury--making him the first black person to ever hold the prestigious title. “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.” Lee succeeds The Revenant director Alejandro G. Iñárritu as Cannes jury president. The 2020 festival will take place May 12-May 23.