With his Michael Jackson documentary (titled Bad 25) scheduled to make its world premiere at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, comes news that Spike Lee will be awarded the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the festival.
The award was created to honor an artist's original mark on contemporary cinema, and will be handed to Spike in a ceremony that will take place on August 31, before the world premiere screening of Bad 25.
Previous recipients of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award include Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Sylvester Stallone and Al Pacino.
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera called Spike a "creative and combative spirit, author of audacious and scathing films which are often unpredictable and provocative in the best sense of the word."
The 69th edition of Venice Film Festival will run from August 29-September 8.
The doc, said to be in its final stages of post-production (if not already complete), focuses on MJ's landmark BAD album and worldwide tour.
The project marks the first ever in-depth, behind the scenes film project to chronicle a Michael Jackson album, and is being filmed amid the 25th anniversary celebration of the iconic album, record-breaking world tour and groundbreaking short films that changed music history. The documentary features over 40 interviews conducted personally by Spike Lee with Michael's confidants, choreographers, musicians and other collaborators who collectively unveil the real story of this "coming of age" project through their vivid recollections of what it was like to work day in and day out and live this project with Michael. BAD's lasting influence is captured through interviews with some of today's top artists, including Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green and Sheryl Crow, who was a back-up singer on the BAD tour.
Spike Lee, who directed both short films for Michael Jackson's They Don't Care About Us in 1996, said in a press statement: "I'm more than just a huge fan of Michael Jackson, and having the chance to actually know him and work with him, I deeply care about his legacy. With this BAD project I was able to uncover just what made this such a huge, important coming of age in his career and unearth compelling stories surrounding the making of the album, the long awaited follow-up to Thriller — the best selling album of all time – the short films and the tour that may have never seen the light of day."
The album, the third and final album collaboration for Jackson and Quincy Jones, was #1 around the world, made history with five consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard chart, produced ten chart-topping singles, was nominated for six Grammys and won two, and to date, has sold over 45 Million units.
Spike Lee's film supports the 25th anniversary of BAD, which will also be celebrated with the September 18th release of BAD 25, a deluxe package featuring three CDs, two collectible booklets, and features the first-ever authorized DVD release of a concert from the record breaking BAD tour, the concert at Wembley Stadium on July 16, 1988 attended by Princess Diana,Prince Charles and a sold-out crowd of 72,000 fans.
A BAD 25 two-CD standard edition, featuring the original album plus the CD of demos and new remixes, will also be made available as will a stand alone edition of the DVD and a picture disc of the original album.
Up next for Spike is his much-discussed and debated Red Hook Summer.