Spike Lee to be first black head of Cannes film festival jury

Paris (AFP) – American director Spike Lee was named president of which year’s Cannes film festival jury on Tuesday, becoming the first black head of the panel.

The maker of “Malcolm X” in addition to also also “Do the Right Thing” can be the first person of black African descent to preside at the entire world’s biggest film festival, which can be held in May on the French Riviera.

Lee, 62, said he was “shocked, happy, surprised in addition to also also proud all at the same time” to make history.

The Cannes veteran has premiered seven of his films at the festival, with his debut movie “She’s Gotta Have which” causing a sensation in 1986 when which won the youth prize at Directors’ Fortnight.

His appointment comes as activists criticised the Oscars on Monday for ignoring actors of colour, with no nominations for the acclaimed performances of Awkwafina inside Chinese-American drama “The Farewell” in addition to also also Lupita Nyong’o inside horror movie “Us”.

There was joy, however, for Ladj Ly, the black French director of “Les Miserables”, which was inside running for best foreign film Oscar after winning the jury prize at Cannes.

Lee — who showed his last film “BlacKkKlansman” at Cannes two years ago — said “my biggest blessings… have happened out of nowhere.

“I’m honoured to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named president of the Cannes jury in addition to also also of a main film festival.”

Lee will also be awarded a Palme d’Or, the festival’s top award, for lifetime achievement.

In a written statement coming from his home in “Da People’s Republic Of Brooklyn, completely new York”, Lee said Cannes had changed his life.

“To me the Cannes film festival (besides being the most important film festival inside entire 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,” he added.

– Lack of diversity –

Only one Asian, the Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai, has ever led the Cannes jury in its 73-year history.

French actress Isabelle Adjani, whose father was Algerian, became the first person of African descent to lead the jury in 1997.

the entire world’s top film festivals have faced fierce criticism for their lack of diversity in recent years.

Cannes in addition to also also its rival Venice have faced growing scrutiny, particularly for the lack of female directors in their main competitions, even as they have chosen gender-balanced juries.

More than 80 actresses in addition to also also woman filmmakers led by then jury president Cate Blanchett staged a red carpet protest at Cannes for equality inside film industry in 2018.

Lee was vocal in his support for the women at the time.

“Spike Lee’s perspective can be more valuable than ever,” festival director Thierry Fremaux said.

“Cannes can be a natural homeland in addition to also also a global sounding board for those who awaken minds in addition to also also question our stances in addition to also also fixed ideas.

“Lee’s flamboyant personality can be sure to shake things up,” he added.

Last year the jury was led by “Babel” in addition to also also “The Revenant” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the first Mexican in addition to also also only the second Latin American to preside over the festival.

The winning film, Korean Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite”, has since become a runaway hit, winning the Golden Globe for best foreign film in addition to also also six Oscar nominations.

, http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DrudgeReportFeed/~3/6FTghq9Qmss/spike-lee-first-black-head-cannes-film-festival-105950497.html, 14 January 2020 | 5:13 pm

Source : Spike Lee to be first black head of Cannes film festival jury