The Chaplin Award Gala, Film at Lincoln Center’s most important fundraising event of the year (with all proceeds benefitting the organization in its mission to support the art and craft of cinema), annually celebrates a pioneering titan of the film industry. Originating in 1972 with that year’s recipient being none other than the award’s namesake, Charlie Chaplin, the 46th recipient of the award was Academy Award-winner Spike Lee.

Originally scheduled for the spring of 2020 but delayed due to the unforeseen pandemic, last night’s star-studded celebration was the first event to take place at Alice Tully Hall since March of last year. After welcoming remarks by FLC Executive Director Lesli Klainberg, CNN anchor Don Lemon took to the stage to introduce a montage reel which highlighted Lee’s many artistic accomplishments. A special version of Lee’s latest nonfiction endeavor for HBO, NYC Epicenters: 9/11→2021½, proceeded Lemon’s remarks, and the evening concluded with a spirited sit-down conversation between Lee and Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

Check out our extensive photo gallery of the evening above. After viewing our highlights, scroll down to see the FLC Community’s favorite films of the director’s illustrious career.

Read Film Comment’s digital anthology celebrating the work of 46th Chaplin Award Gala Honoree Spike Lee, featuring essays and interviews by Kent Jones, Amy Taubin, and others, along with a new essay by critic and scholar Michael Boyce Gillespie, here.

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