Spike Lee to be first black head of Cannes Film Festival jury

Fight the power!

Spike Lee has been named President of the Jury at the 73rd Festival de Cannes, taking place from 12 to 23 May 2020.

The director’s latest film BlacKkKlansman played in the Competition section in 2018, after a 22-year absence from the festival.

Last year’s jury was led by Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who awarded the festival’s biggest prize, the Palme d’Or, to Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite.


On his appointment, Lee said in a statement: “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.

[…] 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.”

Spike Lee is also a screenwriter, actor, editor and producer as well as a director, who made Do The Right Thing, She’s Gotta Have ItJungle Fever, and Chi-Raq, among others.

Back in 2018, NME gave BlacKkKlansman four stars, calling the film a “KK-caper carefully crafted for 2018.”

The full lineup for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, where in recent years the likes of Diego MaradonaThe LighthouseUnder the Silver Lake and Shoplifters have all premiered, will be announced mid-April.