Spike Lee will receive the lifetime achievement award for distinguished achievement in motion picture direction from the Directors Guild of America. The group announced Lee as the recipient of the organization’s top honor on Wednesday morning.

“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,” said Lesli Linka Glatter, president of the DGA. “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.”

Lee will be honored with the lifetime achievement award at the DGA’s 74th annual awards ceremony on March 12. This year’s nominations for outstanding directorial achievement in feature film will be announced on Jan. 27. Nominations for outstanding directorial achievement in television, commercials and documentary will be announced on Jan. 26.

“While he is no stranger to huge commercial success, he is also the beating heart of independent film,” Glatter continued. “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.”

Only 35 directors have been honored with the DGA lifetime achievement award. Its past recipients include Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Steven Spielberg, Miloš Forman. Ridley Scott is its most recent honoree, receiving the award in 2017.

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