The American Society of Cinematographers has done the right thing.
The group said today that Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee will receive its Board of Governors Award next month.
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“Spike Lee is one of the most brilliant filmmakers of our time, and the social impact of his work is immeasurable,” ASC President Shelly Johnson said. “This award celebrates his respect for the partnership between director and cinematographer and how two people unite to tell a visual story in a way that can only be recognized as that of collaboration.”
The Brooklyn-raised Lee began his storied career in the 1980s as a writer-director of such films as She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze and Do the Right Thing, for which he earned a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination. Many more celebrated films would follow, including Malcolm X, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, Clockers, He Got Game, Summer of Sam, Girl 6, Bamboozled, She Hate Me, Red Hook Summer, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Chi-Raq and most recently Da 5 Bloods and David Byrne’s American Utopia.
Lee won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award for 2018’s BlaKkKlansman, also scoring Oscar noms for Best Picture and Director. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and was a finalist for the Palme d’Or. He also was a Palme d’Or finalist for Jungle Fever and Do the Right Thing in 1991 and 1989, respectively.
The filmmaker scored another Oscar nom,ination and an Emmy nom for the 1997 documentary Four Little Girls and was honored with the Governors Award from the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences in 2016. He also won a pair of Emmy Awards for the 2007 Hurricane Katrina documentary When the Levees Broke
Lee also appeared in many of his films and reprised his Mars Blackmon character from She’s Gotta Have It for a slew of popular Nike ads with Michael Jordan in the late 1980s and early ’90s.
Lee joined the faculty at NYU’s Tisch School Graduate Film Program, where he was appointed artistic director in 2002 – a position which he still holds in addition to being a tenured professor. The Spike Lee Film Production Fund, founded in 1989, is an endowed fund providing annual productions or post production awards to students in the NYU Tisch Graduate Film Program.
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