Spike Lee will receive a BFI Fellowship, the highest honor bestowed by the British Film Institute, adding to his already extensive list of awards.
The BFI said the scholarship was in recognition of Lee’s “groundbreaking work, spanning more than three decades, documenting the lives of black people through bold and inventive cinematic artistry in feature and documentary films.” Live TV, Music, Commercials and Books” and will be presented to the Oscar winner at a special gala at BFI Southbank that includes an in-depth on-stage Q&A and a screening of his 1992 crime thriller Sam Summer.
“I am fortunate to be able to live out the mantra of my ancestors: ‘Actions, not words.’ I am grateful to the BFI for helping me perpetuate my Family legacy. Peace and love. Ya dig? Sho-nuff,” said Lee, who joins a roster of BFI fellows that includes Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker, Satyajit Ray, Tilda Swinton, David Lean, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Steve McQueen , Akira Kurosawa, Nicholas Roeg CBE, Orson Welles, Sir Ridley Scott, Ousmane Sembène Bernardo Bertolucci and Souleymane Cissé.
“I am honored and delighted to award Spike Lee the prestigious BFI Fellowship,” said BFI Chairman Tim Richards. “Lee had such a unique voice as a director, and throughout his career he was unafraid to challenge notions of race, gender and class with his distinctive style of cinema. A true renaissance man and pioneer, He has excelled in many art forms, remaining original, fresh and as relevant to contemporary audiences as those who have appreciated his work for over 30 years. I am delighted to celebrate his immense talent and personality through the BFI Scholarship.”
While in the UK, Lee will also visit the team at the BFI National Archives who kept in touch with Spike Lee in his groundbreaking biopic Malcolm X’s new mm print, will premiere at the BFI’s inaugural film festival in June.