January is the first year of the month but in the film industry it is also the first month of award season. So to inaugurate award season for this week’s spotlight we chose a newcomer that is the talk of Tinseltown.
Lupita Nyong’o with her first appearance on screen has managed to steal the spotlight from seasoned actresses and is a considered a shoe in for this award season. She plays the role of Patsey in Steve Mcqueen’s 12 Years a Slave. This is the actress’s first cinematic role just after graduating from Yale Drama School. As for first experiences goes this is as hard as it gets. Nyong’o’s role in the film is that of an enslaved woman in the States who is constantly physically and mentally abused by the plantation owner Epps and his wife.
Before getting the role in Mcqueen’s film Nyong’o has worked in the theater as an actress and on the production crew of many films such as The Constant Gardner and The Namesake. In the theater she had the chance to sink her teeth in classic plays as Checkov’s Uncle Vanya and Shaekspear’s The Tamming of the Shrew and A Winter’s Tale. The actress after finishing her undergraduate degree in film and theater studies at Hampshire College she enrolled for a drama degree at the Yale School of Drama. In 2009 she wrote, directed and produced a documentary called In My Genes. The film deals with the prejudice and the difficulties experienced by albinos living in Kenya and poses the question of what it is to be discriminated against because of a simple genetic anomaly. The documentary was well received and was shown to many festivals around the world.
Critics and industry alike are mesmerized by her heartbreaking performance and the director stated that from when she walked in the audition room he knew there was no one else for the part. She is nominated for every award under the sun and she will probably win some-if not all of them,since the awards tend to have a domino effect. So if you are inspired by this young performers story , go on and write your stories and maybe even act in them and then don’t forget to send in your projects at the ÉCU Film Festival and who knows maybe we will be covering you in a next spotlight as the next big thing!