Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee will be honored with the lifetime achievement award for his contributions to motion picture direction from the Directors Guild of America (DGA), according to Variety.com. The award is the organization’s top honor.
“Icon. Trailblazer. Visionary. Spike Lee has changed the face of cinema, and there is no single word that encapsulates his significance to the craft of directing,” said Lesli Linka Glatter, president of the DGA. “From his groundbreaking "Do the Right Thing", "BlacKkKlansman" and everything in between — to his signature ‘double dolly’ shot, Spike is an innovator on so many levels. His bold and passionate storytelling over the past three decades has masterfully entertained, as it held a stark mirror to our society and culture.”
New York University film school alum Lee began his motion picture directing career by helming the independently produced She’s Gotta Have It, released in 1986, which in 2017 was adapted into a series for Netflix and in n 2019, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Some of Lee’s other notable films are School Daze, Mo Better Blues, Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, He Got Game, Clockers, Inside Man, Girl 6, Get on The Busand his most recent release, Da 5 Bloods on Netflix.
Lee has also directed several award-winning documentaries, including 1997’s 4 Little Girls about the Alabama church bombings in 1963, and 2006’s When the Levees Broke, about Hurricane Katrina and the injustices and devastation it wrought on New Orleans and its Black and low-income communities.
Only 35 directors have been honored with the DGA lifetime achievement award since it started in 1953 (Cecil B. DeMille was the first recipient).
Lee is the first Black director to receive the award which will be given at the DGA’s 74th annual awards ceremony on March 12.