Famed director Spike Lee named the first Black head of the Cannes Film Festival jury

Top Stories

FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2019 file photo, Spike Lee arrives at the world premiere of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in Los Angeles. Spike Lee will lead the jury of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and festival organizers hope the provocative American director will “shake things up” at the gathering of the world’s cinema elite.(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File )

PARIS (AP) – American director Spike Lee will lead the jury of the Cannes Film Festival this year.

It’s the first time a black person has been selected for the prestigious position. Festival organizers say Cannes wants to send a “message of universality” by naming Lee as jury president.

They also said they hope that he shakes things up at the French Riviera gathering of the world’s cinema elite. Lee said he was shocked, happy, surprised and proud at being chosen.

Many of Lee’s provocative films have been shown at Cannes, and his “BlacKkKlansman” won a top prize at Cannes last year. This year’s festival runs May 12-23.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories