Lupita Nyong'o, first black president of the Berlin Film Festival jury

Lupita Nyong'o, first black president of the Berlin Film Festival jury

Movies

Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o will chair the Berlinale jury next February and will be the first black person to occupy this prestigious position, organizers announced on Monday, December 11. In the 74-year history of the Berlin Film Festival, never has a black man or woman headed the jury that awards the Golden and Silver Bears.

The two co-directors of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, said they were “happy and proud” that the actress had accepted this role. Aged 40, she won the Oscar for supporting actress in March 2014 for her performance in 12 Years a Slave . “Lupita Nyong’o embodies what we love in cinema: versatility and consistency” in her artistic choices, said the two co-directors in a press release.

Ms. Nyong’o was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents and grew up in Kenya in a wealthy environment before studying cinema and theater in the United States. In 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary In My Genes dedicated to albinos in Kenya. At 31, she gained notoriety thanks to her interpretation of Patsey, a martyred slave in 12 Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen.

Among her other successes on screen, she integrated the Marvel cinematic universe where she played the character of Nakia in the blockbuster Black Panther , as well as her appearances in different parts of the Star Wars saga.

The Berlinale, which will take place from February 15 to 25, 2024, is one of the three major European film festivals along with Cannes and Venice. In 2023, a documentary on psychiatry by Frenchman Nicolas Philibert won the Golden Bear. The festival should unveil on Tuesday the name of its future director who will replace the duo composed of Ms. Rissenbeek and Mr. Chatrian.

The World with AFP

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