The Cannes Film Festival announced Tuesday that Spike Lee would serve as president of its jury in May, making the American director the first black person to do so in the French festival’s 73-year history. Catch the full story shared by Sonia Rao of The Washington Post.

Director Spike Lee, pictured at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival during a photo call for “BlacKkKlansman,” will head the festival’s jury this year. (Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

In a statement signed from what he called “Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, New York,” Lee detailed his history with the prestigious festival dating to his 1986 debut feature, “She’s Gotta Have It,” which won the Prix de la Jeunesse, an award honoring young directors. Lee, 62, has since returned to Cannes six times. His most recently chosen film, 2018′s “BlacKkKlansman,” won the Grand Prix, or second place overall.

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere,” Lee wrote. “When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be President of Cannes Jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time.” Read more via Washington Post.