Celebrated American filmmaker Spike Lee will preside over the 73rd Cannes Film Festival‘s jury, making him the first black man to preside over this year’s esteemed group of movie professionals that will eventually bestow the coveted Palme d’Or prize.
“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 lengthy statement, EW reports.
“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.”
The 62-year-old Oscar-winning Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X helmer has long had a presence at Cannes, with three of his movies — Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, and BlacKkKlansman — debuting as part of the festival’s competitive lineup.