The rap legend's film debut was a long time coming.
"He entertained but also inspired a generation of audiences," festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal said in a statement.
"He opened doors for filmmakers of color to tell powerful stories that have been too often ignored,” the former president wrote.
Ava DuVernay called Singleton, who died Monday, "a giant among us." Jordan Peele said he was "a true inspiration."
"Boyz N The Hood" director, John Singleton, has died after being taken off life support following a stroke.
He was the first African American filmmaker and the youngest person in history to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar.
Singleton, the first African-American filmmaker to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar, suffered a stroke earlier this month.
Barry Jenkins says the history-making gaffe "made 2017 a very long year."
The Academy Award-winning director talked to HuffPost about 'Let It Fall.'
"As a black woman in entertainment and acting, there’s not a lot of roles for us,” says star Danielle Moné Truitt.
'Boyz n the Hood' Director John Singleton Not 'Worried' About White Oscars: 'There's Only So Many Slots'
While Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith have called for an Oscar boycott, John Singleton, who became the first African-American
Although already a seasoned actor at age 14 when he was cast in Coppola's surreal Vietnam war epic, young "Larry" Fishburne went on location to the jungles of the Philippines a boy, and returned both a man, and one of our finest actors. He hasn't stopped working since.
Conversations With Seymour Stein, Lori Lieberman and Sun Records' Josh Collum, Collin Brace & Julie Roberts, Plus an Ed Kowalczyk Exclusive
"Back in my teens, New York WAS the music business. ... I'd go up to Harlem to buy my records. It was a straight line on the D train from King's Highway to 125th street, and they had great record stores up there. ... I mean, I just couldn't think of a better place to be."