Cannes 2021

Cannes jury prez Spike Lee features on 2021 Film Festival poster

The poster of the 74th Festival de Cannes, features Spike Lee, jury president, 2021.
The poster of the 74th Festival de Cannes, features Spike Lee, jury president, 2021. © Bob Peterson & Nike / All rights reserved Graphic design / Hartland Villa

The Cannes Film Festival has revealed its 74th edition poster boy: it's none other that Spike Lee, president of the jury. The US director appears in a black and white image, gazing up at some palm trees, in reference to his role as Mars Blackmon, the B-Boy in his Cannes-winning 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It.

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After French pioneer filmmaker and Honorary Cannes Award winner Agnès Varda for the 2019 poster, the Cannes Film Festival has chosen the "curious" and "cheeky" face of Spike Lee, citizen of the "People's Republic of Brooklyn, New York" to represent the spirit of 2021 festival.

"For his mischievous eye which, despite constantly questioning and incessantly rebelling for nearly four decades, never neglects entertainment…" says the Cannes organisers in a statement.

Lee, the first black man in the history of the festival to hold the title of jury president is no stranger to the Croisette.

In 2018 when he won the Grand Prix for his drama Blakkklansman, a biographical black comedy crime film based on the 2014 memoir Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth.

Set in the 1970s it follows the first African-American detective in the city's police department as he sets out to infiltrate and expose the local Ku Klux Klan chapter. It went on to win an Oscar.

Prior to that, Lee came to Cannes with his first feature film She's Gotta Have It which was screened during the Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) in 1986. He walked away with the Youth Prize in the foreign films section.

The summer time tale stars fiercely independent Brooklyn artist Nola Darling who tries to remain true to herself while hooking up with three wildly different men. It takes on stereotypes of Afro-Americans and spins them on their head.

Lee's role is Mars Blackmon, one of lead girl Nola's three lovers, and this is the character we see reflected in the 2021 poster.

This year's festival, 6-17 July is is promising a bumper crop of talent, new faces, new categories plus a chance to screen the films selected for the 73rd edition, cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the 24 films competing for the prestigious Golden Palme prize:

   - "Annette" by Leos Carax, France

   - "The French Dispatch" by Wes Anderson, US

   - "Benedetta" by Paul Verhoeven, Netherlands

   - "A Hero" by Asghar Farhadi, Iran

   - "Tout s'est Bien Passe" (Everything Went Well) by Francois Ozon, France

   - "Tre Piani" (Three Floors) by Nanni Moretti, Italy

   - "Titane" (Titan) by Julia Ducournau, France

   - "Red Rocket" by Sean Baker, US

   - "Petrov's Flu" by Kirill Serebrennikov, Russia

   - "Par un Demi Clair Matin" (France) by Bruno Dumont, France

   - "Nitram" by Justin Kurzel, Australia

   - "Memoria" by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand

   - "Lingui" by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad

   - "Les Olympiades" (Paris 13th District) by Jacques Audiard, France

   - "Les Intranquilles" (The Restless) by Joachim Lafosse, Belgium

   - "La Fracture" by Catherine Corsini, France

   - "The Worst Person in the World" by Joachim Trier, Norway

   - "Compartment No 6" by Juho Kuosmanen, Finland

   - "Casablanca Beats" by Nabil Ayouch, France-Morocco

   - "Ahed's Knee" by Nadav Lapid, Israel

   - "Drive My Car" by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan

   - "Bergman Island" by Mia Hansen-Love, France

   - "The Story of My Wife" by Ildiko Enyedi, Hungary

   - "Flag Day" by Sean Penn, US

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