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.
The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker's family confirmed he is in intensive care as celebrities and fans sent their well wishes.
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.'