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Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o to head Berlin Film Festival jury

Lupita Nyong’o to lead Berlinale 2024
Lupita Nyong’o to lead Berlinale

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is set to lead the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. The 2024 Berlinale, the inaugural major European film festival of the year, is set to take place from Feb. 15-25. This edition marks the last under the current leadership duo of executive director Mariette Rissenbeek and artistic director Carlo Chatrian.

According to the directors, Nyong’o “embodies what we like in cinema: versatility in embracing different projects, addressing diverse audiences, and consistency to one idea that is quite recognizable in her characters, as diverse as they may look.”
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Expressing her deep honor, Nyong’o said she looks forward to serving as president of the international jury and anticipates “celebrating and recognizing the outstanding work of filmmakers from around the world.” The Kenyan actor, who has also directed, produced, and authored a children’s book titled “Sulwe,” won the Oscar for best supporting actress in 2014 for her role in “12 Years A Slave.”

While organizers typically reveal the rest of the jury closer to the event, news of Nyong’o’s appointment as jury president aligns with Germany’s culture minister, Claudia Roth, announcing plans for the festival’s new leadership, emphasizing her vision for a single leader to guide the festival in the future.

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress

The Berlinale explained                                                   

Berlinale refers to the Berlin International Film Festival, which is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Each year, Berlin, Germany hosts the renowned festival, showcasing a diverse array of international films, including feature films, documentaries, and short films.

Founded in 1951, the Berlinale has grown to become one of the “Big Three” film festivals globally, alongside the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. The festival attracts filmmakers, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts from around the world.
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Berlinale is not only a platform for screening films but also serves as a marketplace for the film industry, allowing producers, distributors, and sales agents to buy and sell films. It divides the festival into various sections, including the Competition, Panorama, Forum, Generation, and Berlinale Special, with each section focusing on different aspects of filmmaking.

The festival awards the Golden Bear for the best film in the Competition section, and other awards recognize outstanding achievements in various categories. Berlinale earns renown for actively promoting diverse and innovative cinematic works, frequently addressing social and political issues through its film selections.

Nyong'o spent her early life in Kenya before returning to Mexico
Nyong’o spent much of her early life in Kenya before returning to Mexico

More about Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress who gained international acclaim for her work in the film industry. She was born on March 1, 1983, in Mexico City, Mexico, to Kenyan parents. Nyong’o spent much of her early life in Kenya before returning to Mexico and later pursuing her education in the United States.
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She made her breakthrough with her role as Patsey in the historical drama film “12 Years a Slave” (2013), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her powerful performance and poignant portrayal in the film garnered widespread recognition and established her as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.