Director Spike Lee has been announced as President of the Jury for this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The 62-year-old American filmmaker succeeds Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in the role and will lead the jury in awarding the 73rd Palme d’Or prize.
Lee is one of America’s most prolific directors, garnering a host of national and international film awards throughout his 34-year career.
His most recent film, BlacKkKlansman, received the Cannes Grand Prix in 2018.
In a statement, Lee called the opportunity a “blessing”.
“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.
“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 Youth Prize 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.
“I’m honoured to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival.”
The 2020 Cannes Film Festival runs from Tuesday, May 12 to Saturday, May 23.