Lupita Nyong’o’s Landmark Role as Jury President Elevates Berlin Film Festival

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Academy award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has made history as the first black Jury President of the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the world’s five biggest international film festivals.

The Jury and the Quest for the Golden and Silver Bears

Twenty films are vying for the festival’s highest honors, the Golden and Silver Bears, this year. Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o will head the jury determining the winning films for the two categories.

Actor and director Brady Corbet (USA), director Ann Hui (Hong Kong, China), director Christian Petzold (Germany), director Albert Serra (Spain), actor and director Jasmine Trinca (Italy), and writer Oksana Zabuzhko (Ukraine) are among the other members of the international jury.

A Star-Studded Opening Ceremony

With a star-studded ceremony on Thursday, February 15, the 74th Annual Berlin International Film Festival officially opened and will continue in Berlin, Germany, until February 25.

Lupita Nyong’o, the first black Jury President of the Berlin International Film Festival, wows in a white Gucci gown at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) opening red carpet and Small Things Like These premiere on February 15, 2024 (Credit: Frederic Kern / Future Image / Cover Images)

Lupita’s Fashion Statement on the Red Carpet

Lupita is making history as the first black jury president and making a lasting impression with her impeccable sense of style.

The 40-year-old Black Panther actress, known for her eclectic fashion that often blends timeless silhouettes and inventiveness with cultural influences, led the glamour as she stepped onto the red carpet in an elegant white gown custom-made for the award-winning actress by Gucci.

The double silk cady sleeveless gown seemed modest from the front, but its cutout sides and open-back design gave it a hint of sensual flair. Sleek straps adorned with crystals held the dress in place while enhancing the glamour of the ensemble.

The bodice featured a figure-flattering shape and was snug around the hips before flowing into a mermaid skirt with a sweeping train.

Lupita Nyong'o exudes class and sophistication in a custom white Gucci gown with an open back design, side cutouts, and crystal trimsLupita Nyong’o exudes class and sophistication in a custom white Gucci gown with an open back design, side cutouts, and crystal trims (Credit: Frederic Kern / Future Image / Cover Images)

Nyong’o exuded an air of sophistication in her classy yet daring Gucci gown, which Micaela Erlanger accessorized with De Beers jewelry. She wore diamond chandelier earrings, a matching bracelet, and a ring to complete her glamorous appearance.

Nick Barose added color to Lupita’s look, creating “Disco Diva Vibes” using makeup in purple tones.

After prepping her skin for a radiant glow, he applied the Gucci Foundation in 480 N, Gucci Powder in 13, and Gucci Blush in 06 Warm Berry. He then used the Lisa Eldridge Eyeshadow Palette in Myth with the Seamless Glide Eye Pencil in Black Treacle to accentuate her eyes before adding a swipe of Gucci’s Satin Lipstick in Nr 602 Virginia Fleur de Les and Gloss à Lévres in 117.

Lupita Nyong'o accessorizes with De Beers earrings and wears dramatic purple makeup for a pop of colorLupita Nyong’o accessorizes with De Beers earrings and wears dramatic purple makeup for a pop of color (Credit: Nicole Kubelka / Future Image / Cover Images)

Cowrie Shell Headpiece: A Reflection of Lupita Nyong’o’s Kenyan-Mexican Ancestry

Lupita Nyong’o looked sharp in a beige suit befitting a jury president during the BIFF jury photocall earlier in the day.

The Queen of Katwe star power dressed for the occasion, but her intricate cowrie shell headdress stole the show.

Lupita teamed her cowrie shell head accessory with a beige BOSS suit composed of a blazer with notched lapels, matching tapered pants with a tonal buckled belt, and a white mock-neck top.

A pair of white peep-toe sandals with thick heels increased her 5’5″ height and rounded out her sharp ensemble.

Lupita Nyong'o looks sharp in a beige suit with a white mock-neck tee and matching peep-toe mules at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival photocall on February 15, 2024Lupita Nyong’o looks sharp in a beige suit with a white mock-neck tee and matching peep-toe mules at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival photocall on February 15, 2024 (Credit: Aurore Marechal / Abaca Press / INSTARimages)

A testament to Nyong’o’s dedication to cultural pride, cowrie shells hold a spiritual significance in Africa and are often associated with womanhood, fertility, birth, and wealth.

Jewelry and accessories designer Lafalaise Dion created Lupita Nyong’o’s cowrie shell headpiece. Dion uses cowrie shells in all her creations, emphasizing their cultural significance.

“We use cowries to communicate with our ancestors, to praise the Lord, to customize garments. They are the way that I reconcile myself with African spirituality,” Dion said in a statement.

BIFF Jury President Lupita Nyong'o accessorizes with a cowrie shell headpiece by Lafalaise DionBIFF Jury President Lupita Nyong’o accessorizes with a cowrie shell headpiece by Lafalaise Dion (Credit: Clemens Niehaus / Future Image / Cover Images)

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