February 25, 2024

Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o will head the competition jury at the 2024 Berlin Film Festival.

“I am deeply honored to serve as the President of the International Jury of the Berlin International Film Festival. I look forward to celebrating and recognizing the outstanding work of filmmakers from around the world,” Nyong’o said of her appointment.

The daughter of Kenyan parents, Nyong’o was born in Mexico City and grew up in Kenya. She then studied Film and Theatre Studies at Hampshire College (USA) and initially worked on various film productions in the USA. Back in Kenya, she produced her first film In My Genes in 2009, which she also directed and wrote. After further studies at the Yale School of Drama, she began her acting career and is best known for her breakout performance in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave for which she picked up the Best Support Actress Oscar. Nyong’o’s other credits include Jordan Peele’s UsLittle MonstersQueen of KatweStar Wars: The Force Awakens, and the horror film The 355. Next, she is set to star in a spin-off of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place series. In addition to acting, Nyong’o has also penned the children’s book Sulwe in 2020.

“Lupita 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,” said Berlinale directors Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. “We are happy and proud she has accepted our invitation to be the jury president of the 74th Berlinale.”

Nyong’o is currently developing a series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. She also recently served as the executive producer of the Sudanese film Goodbye Julia, the directorial debut of Mohamed Kordofani. Goodbye Julia was selected by the Sudanese National Committee operating in exile to compete for the Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards.

Next year’s Berlinale runs Feb 15 – Deb 25.

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