Spike Lee Prematurely Announces the Palme d'Or Winner at Cannes Film Festival: 'No Excuses, I Messed Up'
"I apologized, they said, 'Forget about it, Spike,'" Spike Lee said after accidentally announcing Julia Ducournau's Titane as the Palme d'Or winner early in the Cannes Film Festival ceremony
Spike Lee got this year's Cannes Film Festival awards ceremony off to a rousing start.
The jury president, 64, mistakenly announced the winner of the top honor, the Palme d'Or, early in Saturday's ceremony. After a miscommunication with the host, French actress Toria Dillier, Lee prematurely revealed Titane by French filmmaker Julia Ducournau as the recipient of this year's Palme d'Or.
Although the audience gasped at the mix-up and Lee was somewhat embarrassed, there were no hard feelings from Ducournau, who's only the second female filmmaker to ever earn the esteem, after Jane Campion's The Piano won in 1993.
Lee later apologized, saying he "messed up, simple as that. And I was very specific to speak to the people of Titane ... I apologized, they said, 'Forget about it, Spike.' So, that means a lot to me." His fellow jury member Maggie Gyllenhaal had his back, saying that the error "was like an injection of humanity into the middle of the ceremony," according to Deadline.
Titane centers on a young woman who has an unusual relationship with cars after surviving an accident as a child. Although critics were divided on the film from the director of Raw, the jury — which also consists of directors Mati Diop, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Jessica Hausner, actors Mélanie Laurent, Tahar Rahim, Song Kang-ho and singer/songwriter Mylène Farmer — voted to award the film the top prize.
"In 63 years of life I've learned that people get a second chance, this is my second chance," he prefaced. "I apologize for messing up. It took a lot of suspense out of the night I understand, it wasn't on purpose." Luckily, Dillier stopped him before Stone took the stage.
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The BlacKkKlansman director was named jury president of the Cannes Film Festival last January, becoming the first Black person to head the prestigious panel.
"When I got the call…I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time," Lee said at the time. "I'm honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival."
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