SXSW Film Keynotes

Lena Dunham Keynote speech at SXSW 2014. Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images.

In 2014, SXSW Film introduced Keynote sessions to the SXSW Film Conference so attendees could hit the ground running, inspired by diverse visionaries from the ever-evolving world of film.

Keynote speakers embody the DIY spirit, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial drive that SXSW uniquely cultivates. Each Keynote session aims to galvanize and empower our audience to do the same. Past Keynote speakers included Ava DuVernay, Mark Duplass, RZA, Christine Vachon, Jason Blum, Lena Dunham, Casey Neistat, and Marc Webb.

2016 SXSW Film Keynotes

2016 SXSW Film Keynote with Ellen Page | Photo by Robert A. Tobiansky/Getty ImagesEllen Page and Ian Daniel
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Ellen Page and Ian Daniel are co-creators of the new documentary series Gaycation, created with VICE and Spike Jonze. Page, an Academy Award-nominated actress, continues to build upon her on screen presence with performances that span both tentpole and art-house films. Expanding on her impressive body of work, she has recently stepped behind the camera as a producer. Ian Daniel is a writer, producer, filmmaker and curator in NY. Daniel is also the former Director of Artistic Programs at The Civilians, a theater company in NY that derives their work from intensive investigations into today’s vital questions.

2016 SXSW Film Keynote with Nelson George | Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty ImagesNelson George
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Nelson George is the author of groundbreaking histories of African American music, including Where Did Our Love Go: the Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound and Hip Hop America. George has directed the HBO film Life Support and A Ballerina's Tale about the career of Misty Copeland. He is a writer/producer on the Netflix series The Get Down, premiering in August. George will speak about transitions in careers and technology, how the two intersect, and how change is like your crazy best friend.

2016 SXSW Film Keynote with Joe Swanberg | Photo by Jason Bollenbacher/Getty ImagesJoe Swanberg
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Joe Swanberg is the director of 20 feature films, including Hannah Takes The Stairs, Drinking Buddies, and Happy Christmas. As an actor, he has had leading roles in several horror successes, most notably You’re Next, The Sacrament, and V/H/S. Recently, through his Forager Film Company, he has produced the work of other filmmakers, including Alex Ross Perry, Harrison Atkin, and Zach Clark. He and his wife, Kris, created the popular web series Young American Bodies which ran for 4 seasons on and

2016 SXSW Film Keynote with Gale Anne Hurd | Photo by Sandra Dahdah/Getty Images for SXSWGale Anne Hurd
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Producer Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator trilogy, Aliens, The Waterdance, and many other films) will discuss her career, creative producing, and being a female producer in a predominately male industry. She will offer observations and advice for aspiring filmmakers coupled with practical insight based on her personal experiences. Gale is currently an Officer of the Producers Guild of America and Executive Produces AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Her newest shows, Hunters, a Syfy original series, premieres April 11th and USA Network's Falling Water will debut later this year.

Photo credits: Top photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images, Nelson George photo by Malika Weeden, Gale Anne Hurd photo courtesy of the speaker, Joe Swanberg photo courtesy of the speaker.