ASC to Honor Spike Lee with Board of Governors Award

The filmmaker was chosen for his significant and indelible contributions to cinema.

ASC Staff

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) will fete Spike Lee with its Board of Governors Award at the 38th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards Gala on Mar. 3, 2024, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Spike Lee is one of the most brilliant filmmakers of our time and the social impact of his work is immeasurable,” says ASC President Shelly Johnson. “This award celebrates his respect for the partnership between director and cinematographer, and how two people unite to tell a visual story in a way that can only be recognized as that of collaboration.”

Lee was chosen for the ASC Board of Governors Award for his significant and indelible contributions to cinema. This ASC honor is reserved for collaborators who are champions for directors of photography and the visual art form.

The 38th Annual ASC Awards presentation ceremony will be livestreamed at

Director, writer, actor, producer, author and NYU-tenured professor Lee is a bona fide auteur. His award-winning body of work over the last three decades has not only entertained audiences but raised awareness of critical social issues. He has directed and produced over 30 films, beginning with She’s Gotta Have It (1986), which Lee wrote, produced, directed, acted in and edited. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, it brought the young filmmaker the esteemed Prix de la Jeunesse Award. Lee received a 1990 Academy Award nomination (Best Original Screenplay) for Do the Right Thing.

In 2019, BlacKkKlansman earned Lee an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. He produced the Oscar-nominated documentary 4 Little Girls (1997) and the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning HBO films When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) and If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise (2010).

Lee’s illustrious list of cinema credits include writing and directing Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Malcolm X (1992), Get on the Bus (1996), He Got Game (1998), Summer of Sam (1999), Bamboozled (2000), She Hate Me (2004), Chi- Raq (2015), and Da 5 Bloods (2020), among others. Lee’s Michael Jackson documentaries, BAD 25 (2012) and Off the Wall (2016), were both critically acclaimed.

An inspiration to independent filmmakers, Lee founded the production company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks in 1983. A prolific creator, he has directed and produced numerous music videos, and began commercial work in 1988 with his Nike Air Jordan campaign.

Lee joined the faculty at NYU’s Tisch School Graduate Film Program where he was appointed artistic director in 2002, a position which he still holds today in addition to being a tenured professor.

The Spike Lee Film Production Fund is an endowed fund providing annual productions or postproduction awards to students in the NYU Tisch Graduate Film Program. Since its inception in 1989, 92 students have been awarded $1,000,000.

AC has covered many of Lee’s projects, including School Daze, Malcolm X, Clockers and Da 5 Bloods.

Previous recipients of the ASC Board of Governors include Viola Davis, Sofia Coppola, Jeff Bridges, Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, Ridley Scott, Barbra Streisand, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Christopher Nolan, Morgan Freeman, Francis Ford Coppola, Sally Field, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg, among others.

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