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Short films for the International Booker Prize 2024 feature names such as Dua Lipa


Short films for the International Booker Prize 2024 feature names such as Dua Lipa

For the fourth time in three years, the Booker Prizes have partnered with Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s production company Merman on a series of short films featuring well-known performers reading extracts from the latest prize’s shortlisted books.

The new films showcase the 2024 shortlist for the International Booker Prize, the world’s leading award for fiction translated into English, and the performers include multi-award-winning singer songwriter Dua Lipa, alongside actors Eleanor Tomlinson (One Day, Poldark, The Outlaws), David Jonsson (Rye Lane, Industry), Tobias Menzies (The Crown, Game of Thrones, Manhunt), Anya Chalotra (The Witcher, Wanderlust) and Antonia Thomas (Still Up, Lovesick, The Good Doctor).

Dua Lipa:

‘As someone who grew up speaking two languages, I know how inspiring it can be to have access to stories about other worlds. I’m fascinated by lives lived in other countries, whether it’s the imagined lives of the characters or the real lives of the authors. So translation is an art close to my heart – it makes that adventure possible for so many more of us. Translated fiction is a hand extended from one culture to another. It allows us to understand each other better, and to see the world in a new light.’

An avid reader and host of her own book club at her editorial platform Service95, Dua Lipa has collaborated with the Booker Prizes on two previous occasions. In 2022, she delivered a keynote speech at the Booker Prize ceremony, in which she spoke passionately about her love of fiction and the authors who have inspired her; in 2023, she visited HMP Downview to see the Booker Prizes’ prisons initiative, Books Unlocked, in action. A film of her prison visit can be seen here. Lipa’s performance in the new films coincides with the launch of her third album, Radical Optimism, which is released on 3 May 2024.

The new shortlist films are directed by Charlotte Hamblin, a screenwriter, actor and director known for her performances in Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Operation Mincemeat. They will be published on the Booker Prizes website ( and social channels (@thebookerprizes) from 9am on Thursday, 25 April 2024. They will also be shown at the International Booker Prize 2024 ceremony, sponsored by Maison Valentino, which is being held at Tate Modern, London, on Tuesday, 21 May.

The six books on the International Booker Prize 2024 shortlist represent six countries and three continents, with three books written by authors from Europe, two from South America and one from Asia. The books – and the performers reading extracts from them in the films – are as follows:

Not a River by Selva Almada, translated from Spanish by Annie McDermott – read by David Jonsson

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Michael Hofmann – read by Eleanor Tomlinson

The Details by Ia Genberg, translated from Swedish by Kira Josefsson – read by Dua Lipa

Mater 2-10 by Hwang Sok-yong, translated from Korean by Sora Kim-Russell and Youngjae Josephine Bae – read by Tobias Menzies

What I’d Rather Not Think About by Jente Posthuma, translated from Dutch by Sarah Timmer Harvey – read by Anya Chalotra

Crooked Plow by Itamar Vieira Junior, translated from Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz – read by Antonia Thomas

Gaby Wood, Chief Executive of the Booker Prize Foundation:

‘Over the three years we’ve worked with the exceptional team at Merman, the Booker shortlist films have become a huge hit, reaching over 20 million people on our social channels and taking the work of the world’s best writers to new audiences. It’s been gratifying to see how many of these highly engaged viewers say how excited they are to read the books as a result of watching the films. We’re especially lucky to work with world-class performers with huge fanbases, who have not only brought these stories to life in a matter of minutes but helped to spread them far and wide.

‘We know that the International Booker Prize is of particular interest to younger readers: half of all buyers of translated fiction in the UK are under 35 – a group now dubbed “Generation TF”. This season Anya Chalotra, David Jonsson, Dua Lipa, Tobias Menzies, Antonia Thomas and Eleanor Tomlinson, who have read from the shortlisted books with great poignancy and elegance, will speak to that generation and many more. We couldn’t be more grateful, or more proud of this collaboration.’

The previous sets of films produced by Merman for the Booker Prizes were directed by Kevin Thomas and Hannah Berry George, and featured performances from Anna Friel, Jarvis Cocker, David Harewood, Nikki Amuka Bird, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Sharon Horgan, Adjoa Andoh, Aisling Bea, Jessica Brown Findlay, Toby Stephens, Michelle de Swarte, Osy Ikhile, Caitríona Balfe, Alfred Enoch, Bel Powley, Paterson Joseph, Susan Lynch and Nina Wadia.

The most recent set of films, produced for the Booker Prize 2023 and directed by Hannah Berry George, was viewed over 14 million times across the Booker Prizes’ Instagram and TikTok accounts. The films produced for the Booker Prize 2022, directed by Kevin Thomas, won in the Culture category of The Drum Awards for Marketing EMEA 2023.

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