Lupita Nyong’o Makes History as First Black Head of Berlin International Film Festival Jury

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Lupita Nyong’o, the acclaimed Kenyan actress, has shattered barriers by becoming the first black person to lead the jury at the esteemed Berlin International Film Festival, commonly known as Berlinale.

The Berlin International Film Festival, held annually in Germany, is renowned as one of the world’s premier film festivals, alongside Venice and Cannes. With its distinction as the largest festival based on attendance, Berlinale attracts cinephiles and industry professionals from around the globe.

According to reports from the BBC, Nyong’o was chosen to helm the jury for the festival’s 74th edition, a groundbreaking moment in its 74-year history. Alongside her fellow jury members, Nyong’o will preside over the evaluation of 20 films competing for the prestigious Golden and Silver Bear awards.

Addressing the audience at the festival’s opening in Berlin, Nyong’o underscored the importance of diversity within the jury, emphasizing the richness of perspectives and experiences brought forth by individuals from diverse backgrounds.

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“That is the beauty of bringing people together from different backgrounds – we respond to different things,” Nyong’o remarked, adding, “We have a lot of world experience and opinions, and it is gonna be interesting. It’s probably also gonna be spicy.”

Nyong’o’s appointment marks a significant milestone in her illustrious career, which includes her critically acclaimed portrayal of Patsey in the 2013 film ’12 Years a Slave,’ for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In addition to her groundbreaking achievements on screen, Nyong’o has made waves in Hollywood, notably becoming the first black woman to join the ‘Star Wars’ franchise under the Walt Disney Co’s Lucasfilm in 2014.

With her captivating performances in films such as ‘Black Panther’ and her collaboration with Beyoncé on the musical film ‘Black Is King,’ Nyong’o has solidified her status as a trailblazer and cultural icon in the entertainment industry.

Lupita Nyong'oAs Nyong’o takes on her role as the head of the Berlin International Film Festival jury, her historic appointment serves as a testament to the power of representation and diversity in cinema, paving the way for future generations of black artists and filmmakers to make their mark on the global stage.

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