In February, Lupita Nyong’o, will chair the jury at Berlin’s international film festival, marking Europe’s first major cinema showcase of the year, according to organizers.
Nyong’o, aged 40, will be the first black person in the festival’s 74-year history to lead the panel responsible for selecting the winners of the prestigious Golden and Silver Bear awards.
Festival directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian expressed their happiness and pride in Nyong’o’s acceptance of the position. They said in a statement,
happy and proud that Nyong’o had accepted the post, 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,
Nyong’o, born to Kenyan parents in Mexico City and raised in Kenya, studied film and theatre in the United States.
She achieved her first major breakthrough in 2009 with the role of Patsey in the impactful Steve McQueen biopic “12 Years a Slave,” for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Her notable screen appearances include playing Nakia in the Marvel superhero film “Black Panther” and its sequel, starring in Jordan Peele’s horror film “Us,” and appearing in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Beyond film, Nyong’o is active on Broadway and authored the New York Times bestselling children’s book “Sulwe” in 2020.
The Berlinale, scheduled for February 15-25, stands alongside Cannes and Venice as one of Europe’s top three film festivals, serving as an early annual launchpad for the film industry.