Lupita Nyong’o has been chosen as the next Jury President of the Berlin Film Festival, succeeding Kristen Stewart, who served as Jury President in 2023.
According to Euronews, the “Black Panther” star will now preside over the international film festival “The Berlinale” for its 2024 edition.
As reported by the Nairobi Wire, the forty-year-old will be the first Black person to lead the panel that chooses the winners of the coveted Golden and Silver Bear top prizes in the festival’s 74-year history.
In a statement, Berlinale directors Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian said, “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 recognisable in her characters, as diverse as they may look.”
According to Vanguard, the Hollywood star was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents and grew up in Kenya before studying film and theater in the United States and working on numerous film productions there.
In 2009, she wrote, filmed, and produced “In My Genes,” a documentary on Kenya’s albino people. Her first major acting break occurred when she was hired as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s hard-hitting biopic “12 Years a Slave,” for which she earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Nyong’o has appeared in several successful films since then, including the Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Jungle Book, both Black Panther movies, and a key part in Jordan Peele’s “Us.”
The Kenyan-Mexican actor performs occasionally on Broadway and wrote the New York Times bestseller children’s book “Sulwe” in 2020. She was also nominated for a Tony Award for her part in Danai Gurira’s Broadway production “Eclipsed.”
The Berlinale, which will take place from February 15 to 25, is one of Europe’s top three cinema festivals, ranking alongside Cannes and Venice, and acts as an early annual launchpad for the industry.