Spike Lee to Be Honored with Film at Lincoln Center’s 2020 Chaplin Award


Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee (“BlackKklansman”) will receive Film at Lincoln Center‘s Chaplin Award at this year’s gala in New York.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee will be honored and celebrated at the star-studded gala taking place in New York City April 27, 2020.

Lee, although having produced and directed films in the industry for decades, received his first Academy Award last year for adapting the script for “BlacKkKlansman.” The film starred John David Washington and Adam Driver in a timely story tackling racism and sociopolitical themes. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Editing, Original Score, Directing and Best Supporting Actor for Adam Driver.

“We are delighted to honor Spike Lee, an original and iconic New York filmmaker,” Film at Lincoln Center’s board chairwoman Ann Tenenbaum said in a statement. “It is thrilling to welcome his bold voice into the pantheon of artists who have received the Chaplin Award.”

Spike Lee (left) directing actor Adam Driver (right) in “BlacKkKlansman”

“It’s hard to conceive of the New York film community without Spike Lee,” added FLC Executive Director Lesli Klainberg in a statement. “For four decades he has been making challenging films that speak to our vibrant city and to the larger world, and his work remains as vital as ever. We feel lucky to have had a special relationship with Lee at Film at Lincoln Center, showing his very first film at the 1983 New Directors/New Films festival, and welcoming his films to our theaters in the years since. Just last year, coinciding with his appearance on the cover of Film Comment, Lee presented ‘BlacKkKlansman’ to a sold-out crowd in our Walter Reade Theater. We are honored to pay tribute to this great artist and true cinephile.”

Lee’s filmography includes “She’s Gotta Have It,” “School Daze,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,” “Malcolm X,” “Summer of Sam, “25th Hour,” “Inside Man,” “Miracle at St. Anna,” “Red Hook Summer,” “Chi-Raq” and “BlacKkKlansman.” A retrospective of the filmmaker’s work will be shown as part of Film at Lincoln Center’s gala, in unison with its annual fundraising event.

“Few filmmakers have amassed a body of work as consistently vital, moving, provocative, and uncompromising as that of Spike Lee,” FLC director of programming Dennis Lim said in a statement. “From his 1983 student film Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads to last year’s BlacKkKlansman, his films spare no quarter in capturing American society and the state of race relations. They compel us to look at our country, its culture and its history anew.”

Previous recipients of this award include Martin Scorsese, Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Alfred Hitchcock, Diane Keaton and many others.

What do you think of Spike Lee receiving this exceptional honor at Film at Lincoln Center? Share any thoughts in the comments below!