Lupita Nyong’o Happy To Be The President Of Berlinale Festival Jury

Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o made history by heading the Berlinale’s international film festival.

The 74th Berlinale Film Festival officially started on Thursday February 15 with the introduction of the international jury.

For the second year straight, the jury is going to be handled by a female master. US actress Kristen Sewart presided over the 2023 international jury.

This year’s jury is going to be headed by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and will comprise of actor-directors Brady Corbet and Jasmine Trinca and directors Ann Hui, Petzold and Albert Serra alongside Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko.

Being a novice to the new role by a film jury, Lupita Nyong’o shared her excitement to acquire experience and work with her jury partners: ” It is an honour to be here, a deep pleasure.”

“This is my first time attending the Berlin Film Festival. And I feel greatly honoured to be the president of this year’s festival,” she said.

“It’s a chance to get to experience a whole lot of films from around the world. There’s quite the selection here, that is representative of a lot of world perspective. And I get to do it with prolific artists, that I deeply respect and that have a whole lot more experience doing this kind of thing than I do. So, this is a chance for me to learn a lot about the world of cinema and to celebrate it,” she said in an interview.

The board are to screen twenty movies that are vieing for the Silver and Golden Bears, which will be presented to the winners at the Award Ceremony on February 24.

Three African entries are among the 20 competing for the top prize.

The festival was opened on February 15 with the Irish-Belgian drama “Small Things Like These” by director Tim Mielants making strides. Leading actor is Cillian Murphy, who is nominated for an Oscar for his role in “Oppenheimer” and producer Matt Damon.

The festival will run from February 15 to February 25.

As per the Berlinale, about 200 movies of all categories, lengths and configurations are displayed in the different segments and exceptional introductions of the festival.

Lupita Nyong’o is the very first African President of the Berlinale Jury which chooses the winners of the Golden and Silver Bear top awards.

The majority of the festival’s jury presidents come from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France.

This is what Berlinale directors Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian said late last year about Lupita Nyong’o:

“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”.

Since her 2014 Oscar win, the 40-year-old producer has gone on to much success playing warrior Nakia in “Black Panther” and its sequel, Adelaide Wilson in horror movie “Us”, Nakku Harriet in “Queen of Katwe” and venturing into the children’s book world with “Sulwe”.

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Nyong’o secured the Oscar Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her playing Patsey in “12 Years a Slave”.

She has bagged multiples awards including NAACP an Image Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Awards and and two Black Reel awards.

The Berlinale Festival:

The festival was created for the Berlin public in 1951 with the ambition to be a “showcase of the free world”.

Alongside Cannes and Venice, the Berlinale is one of the world’s major film festivals and is traditionally considered to be the most political one of all.

In 1956 the festival gained more prestige when the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) accredited the festival. This episode is commonly referred to as an awarding of the “A status.”

This accreditation subjected the festival to the FIAFP guidelines and it also paved the way for the institution of an international jury of experts. This panel took up the awarding of the festival’s top prizes in which the audience previously had a say.

Political questions surrounding Putin, Israel, German politics and Ukraine dominated Thursday’s February 15 press conference.

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