"Spike Lee is a bold creative spirit, the author of daring and corrosive films, often unpredictable and provocative in the best sense of the term. Films that challenge us to rethink our prejudices and our preconceptions," said director of the Venice Film Festival Alberto Barbera in a statement.
Lee receives the award, which is "dedicated [to] a personality who has brought great innovation to contemporary cinema," at the Aug. 31 awards ceremony. Following the ceremony, the Venice Film Festival will present the world-premiere screening of Lee's new documentary, "Bad 25," filmed on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's historic album, "Bad." The 2012 festival continues through Sept. 8.
Lee was Oscar-nominated for the films "4 Little Girls" and "Do the Right Thing." His other film credits include "Malcolm X," "Inside Man," "25th Hour," "Jungle Fever" and "Clockers," among others.
The 69th Venice Film Festival is directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta.