In July 2021, the highly acclaimed director and activist, Spike Lee, will honor his commitment to the Cannes Film Festival, serving as president of the jury.
With this appointment, Lee will make history becoming the first ever black jury president of the festival.
Lee was originally set to take on this role during 2020, but was prevented from doing so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 festival will make a return to the Croisette from the 6th to the 17th of July.
A festival spokesperson announced that with this selection “Festival de Cannes inaugurate this new decade with an exceptional president of the jury, since he is one of the greatest directors of his generation, in addition to being a screenwriter, actor and editor.”
Many of Lee’s films have made their debut at the festival including his first film “She’s Gotta Have It” in 1986 and “BlacKkKlansman” in 2018.
For this reason, he stated in an interview with Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s general delegate, that he considers Cannes to be his “introduction to the world of cinema.”
“Over 30 years, Spike Lee has accurately translated the issues of his time, in a contemporary way without neglecting lightness or fun.”
-Pierre Lescure, Cannes Film Festival President
During the lockdown period, Lee continued to support the festival. His continued positivity and enthusiasm seems to have rubbed off on the staff preparing the festival, as they are eager for July to come around.
While the 74th edition of the festival is finally on the calendar, it is still unknown what the format may look like as it is likely to change because of the pandemic.
It has already been postponed, previously scheduled for May 2021, but the July dates have been guaranteed by organizers.
The festival was rescheduled in 2020 as well, pushing the programming from May to October while adjusting its structure.
The rest of the jury selection will be announced in early June, and Spike Lee will award Palme d’Or on at the Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony.