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After Spike Lee’s nearly three decades as a filmmaker, he’s finally scored his first Oscar nomination for best director — making him only the sixth black filmmaker to do so in the Academy’s 91-year history.
Lee earned the nod for BlacKkKlansman, which is also nominated for best picture, best adapted screenplay, best original score, best editing and best supporting actor for Adam Driver, for a total of six noms.
Just three years ago, Lee was awarded an honorary Academy Award after never winning a competitive Oscar. He has, however, been nominated twice before: the last time being at the 1998 Academy Awards for 4 Little Girls‘ best documentary feature nomination. Prior to that, Lee earned a best original screenplay nod for Do the Right Thing at the 1990 Oscars.
The director told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month that BlacKkKlansman’s awards — which started with the Grand Prix at last year’s Cannes — is just “the cherry on top.”
“The goal is not to be nominated. The goal is to make films of impact, and this film definitely has,” he said. “I’m not trying to be some grandiose motherfucker like, ‘Oh, I don’t need awards.’ I’m not saying that. But what I’m saying is that, there are things more important.”
Previously, there have been only five black directors nominated in the category: Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins, Steve McQueen, Lee Daniels and John Singleton.
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