Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o  has become the first black person to chair the Berlin International Film Festival jury.

The annual film showcase event, known as the Berlinale is one of the world's five largest film festivals.

Nyong'o will preside over the selection of the jury  of the winners in the two main categories, Golden and Silver Bear.

The top five international film festivals - Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Sundance, and Toronto  have frequently been chastised for their lack of diversity on jury panels.

The largest and second-oldest of these, the Cannes festival did not have a black jury president until 2020, when American filmmaker Spike Lee was selected.

Nyongo'o said that the diversity of the jury will improve the process of picking which films to award.

The event will continue until February 25th, when the jury will announce the winning films in the major categories.

Three African entries are among the 20 vying for the top award, and all relate stories about the continent.

They comprise Black Tea directed by Mauritanian-born Malian Abderrahmane Sissako, Who Do I Belong To directed by Tunisian-Canadian Meryam Joobeur, and Dahomey, a documentary by French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop.

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