Film still from International Booker Prize shortlist films.

Dua Lipa leads A-list cast of performers in new films showcasing the International Booker Prize 2024 shortlist

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

Publication date and time: Published

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).

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 trailer for the films will be published on YouTube and on the Booker Prizes social channels from 3pm on Wednesday, 24 April 2024.

Film still from International Booker Prize shortlist films.

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, says:

‘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.’

Gaby Wood, Chief Executive of the Booker Prize Foundation, speaks at the Booker Prize 2023 awards, London

Dua Lipa says:

‘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.’

Film still from International Booker Prize shortlist films.

Joshua Buckingham, Executive Producer and Head of Merman Scotland, says:

‘We at Merman are delighted to continue producing these brilliant films with the Booker Prizes team. We love bringing to life the superb shortlisted novels for the International Booker Prize. Under Charlotte Hamblin’s direction, Harry Zundel’s cinematography and Nanw Rowlands’ casting we’ve managed to evolve the films again and do justice to the incredible extracts. In truth this is a dream job as the Booker Prizes team is so collaborative and we are working with the best in translated fiction.’

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.

The previous films can be viewed herehere and here

Caitriona Balfe reads Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

The International Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize is the world’s leading award for fiction translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The prize recognises the vital work of translators with the £50,000 prize money divided equally: £25,000 for the author and £25,000 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators). In addition, there is a prize of £5,000 for each of the shortlisted titles: £2,500 for the author and £2,500 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators).

The six books on the shortlist have been chosen by this year’s judging panel, chaired by esteemed writer and broadcaster Eleanor Wachtel. She is joined by award-winning poet Natalie Diaz; Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera; ground-breaking visual artist William Kentridge; and writer, editor and translator Aaron Robertson.

The winner of the International Booker Prize can expect international recognition and a significant uplift in global sales. In the week after Time Shelter, written by Georgi Gospodinov and translated by Angela Rodel, won the International Booker Prize 2023, its publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson saw a 435% increase in sales compared to the previous week. It has now sold over 92,000 copies of the book across all its editions. Before the 2023 longlist was announced, Time Shelter had been licensed in 23 territories, in addition to Bulgaria. Since then, agreements have been reached in a further 14 territories.

In 2023, according to Nielsen BookData, sales of translated fiction grew by 11% in value to £25m in the UK (fiction overall grew 4%) and 3% in volume (fiction overall was down 5%). Translated fiction is also beloved by younger readers: in 2022, according to research by Nielsen commissioned by the Booker Prize Foundation, 48% of all translated fiction was purchased by under 35s (vs 32% for Overall Fiction). Within TikTok’s top BookTok hashtags, the #translatedfiction hashtag now appears in its top hashtag ratings and its usage has doubled since 2023.

Group photo of the International Booker Prize 2024 Judges; Romesh Gunesekera, Natalie Diaz, Eleanor Wachtel, William Kentridge and Aaron Robertson.


Merman Television is the multi-award-winning company behind shows such as Bad Sisters (Apple TV+), There She Goes (BBC Two), Dreamland (Sky), and This Way Up (Hulu/Channel 4). It was founded in 2014 by award-winning duo Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford. Since then, Merman has gathered multiple accolades, including Bafta, Emmy and RTS wins and nominations, as well as being nominated multiple times for Production Company of the Year at the Edinburgh TV Awards. Merman is a globally-renowned production and entertainment company working across the UK and US, with a reputation for scripting and producing award winning TV and film.

The 2024 performers

Three-times Grammy and seven-times Brit Award-winning global pop powerhouse Dua Lipa has found superstar status on stage and off, thanks to her many passions outside of music. 2022 saw Lipa launch Service95, a global style, culture and society editorial platform that comprises a weekly newsletter, the Service95 book club and the Dua Lipa: At Your Service podcast, which has been lauded by the Sunday Times and Guardian, and was named one of the Best Podcasts of 2022 by Spotify. Lipa has a total of 10 Grammy nominations, with three wins for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording. Across platforms globally, she has amassed over 38 billion streams and holds the record for having the top two most streamed albums by a female artist of all time on Spotify.

Tobias Menzies can currently be seen in the lead role in Manhunt (Apple TV+) and recently starred in the A24 feature You Hurt My Feelings, opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He portrayed the second iteration of Prince Philip in the worldwide Netflix sensation The Crown, a performance which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series and won him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He is known globally for his roles in Starz/Amazon’s hit TV series Outlander (2014–2017) and for playing Edmure Tully in the global phenomenon Game of Thrones (2013–2016). His other screen credits include the Bafta-winning This Way Up (Channel 4) and the Amazon Prime series Modern Love, opposite Sophie Okonedo. 

David Jonsson, a Screen International Star of Tomorrow in 2023, played the lead role in Rye Lane, which was nominated for Outstanding British Film at the Bafta Film Awards. He will next be seen as the co-lead in the Ridley Scott-produced Alien: Romulus film, directed by Fede Alvarez, and in another leading role in Todd Komarnicki’s God’s Spy. On television, he was the lead in BBC’s Agatha Christie adaptation Murder is Easy in December 2023. He also played the role of Gus in the BBC/HBO’s hit series Industry, directed by Lena Dunham, and can also be seen in Fox’s Deep State. His theatre credits include And Breathe (The Almeida) for which he won best actor at the Black British Theatre Awards; Mary Stuart (The Almeida/West End); and Don Juan in Soho (Wyndham’s).

Antonia Thomas starred as the female lead Dr Claire Brown in four seasons of the hugely successful ABC drama The Good Doctor, opposite Freddie Highmore, and is still well known for her role as Alisha Bailey in E4’s cult sci-fi drama Misfits. Most recently, she has been part of an all-star cast in Channel 4’s crime drama Suspect, and appeared opposite John Boyega in Steve McQueen’s Bafta-nominated Amazon/BBC series Small Axe. She can currently be seen on Netflix in the wildly popular series Lovesick, opposite Johnny Flynn. She will next be seen in Lionsgate supernatural thriller The Bagman, opposite Sam Claflin, and recently starred in Apple TV+ comedy Still Up, opposite Craig Roberts. On the big screen, Thomas first made her mark with a leading performance in Dexter Fletcher’s musical Sunshine on Leith, which she received a 2014 Empire Awards nomination for Best Female Newcomer.

Anya Chalotra is known for her leading role in three seasons of the Netflix global phenomenon The Witcher, in which she stars as Yennefer of Vengerberg. The first season led to her recognition as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow in 2020. Chalotra has also been announced to star in Two Neighbours, opposite Chloe Cherry and Ralph Ineson. A dark comedy set in New York, the film is inspired by Aesop’s fable, Avaricious and Envious. She recently returned to stage at the Almeida in Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, directed by Rupert Goold. She starred in the leading role, Zula, opposite Luke Thallon. Her other stage roles include Peter Gynt at the National Theatre, The Village at the Theatre Royal Stratford East (2018), and Much Ado About Nothing at The Globe (2017).

Eleanor Tomlinson can currently be seen as Sylvie in One Day on Netflix. Further recent credits include Evie in The Couple Next Door for Channel 4/Starz, The Outlaws series 1-3 and A Small Light for ABC. She is well known for playing Demelza in five seasons of Poldark and made her feature film debut as a young Sophie in The Illusionist alongside Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti. Other notable credits include Colette (directed by Wash Westmoreland), Love, Wedding, Repeat (Netflix), Intergalactic (Sky) and The Nevers (HBO).

Film still from International Booker Prize shortlist films.

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