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Tue Jan 14, 2020, 06:03 PM

Spike Lee will be the first-ever black president of the Cannes Film Festival jury

The Cannes Film Festival announced Tuesday that Spike Lee would serve as president of its jury in May, making the American director the first black person to do so in the French festival’s 73-year history.

In a statement signed from what he called “Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, New York,” Lee detailed his history with the prestigious festival dating to his 1986 debut feature, She’s Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse, an award honoring young directors.

Lee, 62, has since returned to Cannes six times. His most recently chosen film, 2018′s BlacKkKlansman, won the Grand Prix, or second place overall.

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere,” Lee wrote.

“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.”

At: https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2020/01/14/spike-lee-will-be-first-ever-black-president-cannes-film-festival-jury/

Director Spike Lee: “An unexpected blessing.”

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