Director, writer, actor, producer and author Spike Lee is being accorded a BFI Fellowship, the highest honor bestowed by the British Film Institute.
The Fellowship will be presented to Lee at a celebratory event at BFI Southbank, hosted by BFI chair Tim Richards and BFI chief executive Ben Roberts on Feb. 13. The event will include an an in-depth on stage Q&A with Lee and a screening of “Summer of Sam.”
While in the U.K., Spike Lee will also visit teams at the BFI National Archive, who have liaised with him on a new 35mm print of “Malcolm X,” to premiere at the BFI’s inaugural Film on Film Festival taking place at BFI Southbank, June 8-11. Lee will also take a masterclass with young filmmakers while he is in the U.K.
Richards said: “I am honoured and excited to be awarding Spike Lee the prestigious BFI Fellowship. Lee has such a distinctive voice as an auteur, unafraid to challenge ideas of race, gender and class throughout his career with his unique cinematic style. A true renaissance man and pioneer, he has excelled in so many art forms, staying original, fresh and as relevant to contemporary audiences as those who have enjoyed his work for over thirty years. I am delighted to be celebrating his enormous talent and individuality with a BFI Fellowship.”
Lee added: I’m blessed to live up to my ancestors’ credo: ‘deeds, not words.’ I thank the BFI for helping me in continuing my generations of family legacy. Peace and love. Ya-dig? Sho-nuff.”
Past BFI Fellows include Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker, Satyajit Ray, Tilda Swinton, David Lean, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Steve McQueen, Akira Kurosawa, Nicholas Roeg, Orson Welles, Ridley Scott, Ousmane Sembène Bernardo Bertolucci and Souleymane Cissé. The most recent Fellows are James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.