US director Spike Lee to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

Many of Lee’s films have been shown at Cannes. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 14 January 2020

US director Spike Lee to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

  • This year’s festival runs May 12-23, and the rest of the jury members will be announced in April

PARIS: 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.

Lee said he was “honored to be the first person of the African diaspora” chosen for the prestigious position.

Festival organizer Thierry Fremaux said naming the first black president of the Cannes jury wasn't a political decision, but “a message of universality.” Speaking on France’s RTL radio Tuesday, Fremaux noted the diverse nationalities of jury members and directors whose films are screened at Cannes.

Many of Lee’s films have been shown at Cannes, and his “BlacKkKlansman” won a major prize at Cannes last year. This year’s festival runs May 12-23, and the rest of the jury members will be announced in April.

“When I got the call ... I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Lee said in a letter. He said Cannes “changed the trajectory of who I became in world cinema.”

Without explicitly mentioning Lee’s career-long fight against racism or other political views, the festival said in a statement Tuesday: “Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas.”

Last year’s jury president was Mexican director Alejandro Iñárritu, and the festival’s top prize went to Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” nominated this week for best international film at the Oscars.


Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra to speak at Sharjah forum

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has starred in more than 60 films and won multiple acting awards. (File/AFP)
Updated 25 min 31 sec ago

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra to speak at Sharjah forum

DUBAI: Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas has been announced as a guest speaker on the opening day of the 9th edition of Sharjah’s International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) on March 4 at the city’s Expo Center.

The Bollywood star and UNICEF Goodwill ambassador will lead a discussion on the impact of films and TV programs on shaping the public opinion during a talk entitled “Why Does the Screen Have so Much Impact on Public Opinion.”

A highly accomplished actress, Chopra Jonas has starred in more than 60 films and won multiple acting awards throughout her successful career, which makes her an ideal choice to discuss the power of visual media at the upcoming forum.

The session will be moderated by Lebanese television presenter and journalist Raya Abi Rached.