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First Jury President! Lupita bags prestigious role in the 2024 Berlin Festival

By Hilary Kimuyu December 12th, 2023 2 min read

Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, has been announced as the head the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, 2024.

She is the first black person in its 74-year history to lead the panel selecting the winners of the Golden and Silver Bear top prizes.

The jury of the Berlinale, as the German capital’s annual film festival is known, picks the winners of the Golden and Silver Bears, which alongside prizes in Cannes and Venice are among the most coveted awards on the international film festival circuit.

Nyong’o “embodies what we like in cinema: versatility in embracing different projects, addressing different audiences, and consistency to one idea that is quite recognizable in her characters, as diverse as they may look,” the directors said in a statement.

Also read: Lupita Nyong’o to executive produce Sudanese drama ‘Goodbye Julia

After the news broke, the Kenyan actress said that she was “deeply honored” to serve as president of the international jury and looks forward to “celebrating and recognizing the outstanding work of filmmakers from around the world.”

The actress shot to fame after her Oscar-winning performance as brutalised slave Patsy in Steve McQueen’s historical drama “12 Years A Slave”, and is known to often select roles that explore the African diaspora and themes of race.

Her other screen successes include playing the warrior Nakia in the Marvel superhero film “Black Panther” and its sequel, Jordan Peele horror film “Us” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

She has also directed and produced as well as acted, and is the author of a children’s book, “Sulwe.”

Organizers typically name the rest of the jury closer to the start of the event. This year, a seven-member jury under actor Kristen Stewart chose the winners of the competition, giving the top Golden Bear award to French director Nicolas Philibert’s documentary “On the Adamant.”