Legendary filmmaker Spike Lee will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction at the 2022 Directors Guild of America Awards, Variety reports. He will be the first Black director to receive the award in the guild’s 86-year history.
In a statement, DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter paid tribute to Lee’s remarkable career as a director.
“Icon. Trailblazer. Visionary. Spike Lee has changed the face of cinema, and there is no single word that encapsulates his significance to the craft of directing,” her statement read. “From his groundbreaking Do the Right Thing, BlacKkKlansman, and everything in-between, to his signature ‘double dolly’ shot, Spike is an innovator on so many levels. His bold and passionate storytelling over the past three decades has masterfully entertained, as it held a stark mirror to our society and culture. And while he is no stranger to huge commercial success, he is also the beating heart of independent film. Even as countless filmmakers call Spike their mentor and inspiration, he continues to devote his time to teaching future generations how to make their mark. We are thrilled to present Spike with the DGA’s highest honor.”
Lee previously received a DGA Honor back in 2002 for “distinguished contributions to our nation’s culture in support of filmmaking,” a DGA Award nomination in the feature film category for BlacKkKlansman in 2019, and in the variety/talk/news/sports specials category for American Utopia in 2021.
Since making his directorial debut with She’s Gotta Have It in 1986, Lee directed iconic films such as School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), Inside Man (2006), and Da 5 Bloods (2020).
In 2019, Lee won his first Academy Award for BlacKkKlansman in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.
The 74th DGA Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022.