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BAFTA News: David Lean Lecture: Spike Lee

BAFTA News: David Lean Lecture: Spike Lee

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), today announced that BAFTA-winning director, producer and writer, Spike Lee will deliver the David Lean Lecture – BAFTA’s prestigious film lecture – on Monday 22 October at BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London.

Previous speakers of the David Lean Lecture include, David O Russell, Robert Altman, Paul Greengrass, David Lynch, Ken Loach, Lone Scherfig, Oliver Stone and most recently Yorgos Lanthimos. The Lecture aims to inspire and inform practitioners and the public, by providing an insight into the experiences and outstanding creative achievements of some of the world’s most compelling filmmakers.

Spike Lee received a BAFTA Special Award in 2002 for his outstanding contribution to cinema; he is also an Honorary Oscar winner and a two-time Oscar-nominee. His films span over three decades of thought-provoking work, examining racial tensions, political issues, urban crime and poverty.

Marc Samuelson, Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to have Spike Lee delivering the David Lean Lecture this year. He is an incredible filmmaker who has brought original and sometimes provocative pieces of work to the screen. His lens on aspects of US society, including race relations and politics, has made audiences debate and reflect. We are looking forward to sharing his unique experiences as a filmmaker, and his insights as one of America’s leading storytellers.”

Lee’s first feature film, the black and white comedy drama, She’s Gotta Have It (1986), was followed by musical comedy, School Daze (1988), and the comedy drama, Do the Right Thing (1989), which looked at racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighbourhood and received an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.

His prolific career has continued with such classics as Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), Clockers (1995), Girl 6 (1996), Get on the Bus (1996), He Got Game (1998), Summer of Sam (1999) and Inside Man (2006).

Lee also directed the Oscar-nominated documentary, 4 Little Girls (1997), which followed the 1963 murder of four African-American girls (Addie May Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Rosamond Robertson) in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lee’s latest film, BlacKkKlansman, starring John David Washington and Adam Driver, is set in 1970s Colorado Springs, and follows the true story of the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs police department, as he infiltrates the local Ku Klux Klan.

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The David Lean Lecture carries on the legacy of the great director David Lean, one of the founders of the British Film Academy (as it was then known) in 1947 and a continuing inspiration to many through his exceptional body of work. The Lecture is generously funded by The David Lean Foundation, which continues to support and encourage excellence in British film making.

Public tickets will go on sale at 12:30pm on Friday 5 October. To book tickets, go to