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Spike Lee makes history as Cannes Film Festival 2020 Jury President


ABC/Rick RowellSpike Lee has landed a history-making role.

On Tuesday, the Cannes Film Festival announced that Spike Lee has been tapped to serve as Jury president.

“Welcome to Spike Lee as President of the Jury of the 73rd Festival de Cannes!,” the announcement on Twitter read. “Cannes is a natural homeland for those who (re)awaken minds. Lee’s flamboyant personality is sure to shake things up. What kind of President will he be? Find out in Cannes!”

With his new role, Lee becomes the first African-American to serve as jury president.

In a statement, Lee says he was “shocked, happy, surprised and proud” by the opportunity, explaining that the festival had a “impact on his film career.”

Specifically, Lee has had seven of his films premiere at Cannes, including Jungle FeverGirl 6Summer of SamTen Minutes Older, and 2018’s BlacKkKlansman, which won him the festival’s Grand Prix.

Spike noted that that Cannes served as a “launching pad” for that Oscar-nominated film, which won him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay last year.

The iconic director also commented on the history he was making with the new gig.

“I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival,” he added.

The official selections for Cannes 2020 and the rest of the jury will be announced in April.

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