Spike Lee to preside over Cannes International Film Festival jury (video)

Spike Lee to preside over Cannes International Film Festival jury (video)
Spike Lee (Photo credit: Bang Media)

The Cannes International Film Festival has selected Spike Lee to preside over its 2021 jury. Lee is the first Black person to head the Cannes jury in its 74 years, which selects one of cinema’s top prizes, the Palme d’Or. The Malcolm X director was originally selected to preside over last year’s festival which was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout the months of uncertainty we’ve just been through, Spike Lee has never stopped encouraging us,” said Cannes festival director Thierry Frémaux to The Associated Press. “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 waiting for. We simply can’t wait!”


This year’s festival was moved from its regular dates in May to July due to safety concerns surrounding the pandemic. The 2021 festival is scheduled to run from Tuesday, July 6, to Saturday, July 17.

“Loyal to his commitments, the American director promised to support the festival on its return to the Croisette,” the Cannes festival added in the statement. “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.”


Several of Lee’s films — including She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing and BlacKkKlansman previously premiered at the French Riviera movie showcase.

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