Introducing SXSW Film Keynotes, Plus First Wave of Conference Programming

Written by Jim Kolmar | Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013
Lena Dunham photo by Jessica Miglio / HBO

SXSW Film 2014 is on track to be better than ever. We recently shared the big news of our brand new SXsports track, and today we’re truly psyched to announce our first round of Film Conference sessions and reveal our first-ever Film Keynotes.

Sure to set an energizing and inspirational tone, the Keynotes will take place at 11:00am each day from Saturday, March 8 - Tuesday, March 11. The first three confirmed speakers are:

Lena Dunham by Jessica Miglio / HBO

Lena Dunham

Lena made her debut at SXSW with the world premiere of Creative Nonfiction in 2009. At the festival that year, she met the team she would later collaborate with for her breakthrough sophomore feature, Tiny Furniture. Also world premiering at SXSW, Tiny Furniture won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature in 2010, and went on to earn her an Independent Spirit Award for “Best First Screenplay.” Now prominently known for creating, writing, directing, executive producing and starring in the HBO hit Girls, Dunham made history as the first female director to win a DGA Award for “Television Comedy Series.” Additionally, for Girls, she received seven Emmy® nominations, was honored by AFI as one of the best “TV Programs of the Year," and won a WGA Award for "Best New Series.” We think she is the very definition of everything we’re trying to do at SXSW Film, and we’re elated to welcome her return to Austin.
Jason Blum, courtesy Blumhouse Productions

Jason Blum

If you've had the bejesus scared out of you in a theater anytime in the last few years, chances are maverick producer and tastemaker Jason Blum had something to do with it. His acclaimed projects include Paranormal Activity & The Purge and the SXSW Midnighters Insidious, Sinister & The Lords of Salem. Blum has more than demonstrated his mettle with a savvy blend of creative energy, audacious talent-wrangling and serious business smarts, and we think he’s the perfect spokesman for a new generation of filmmakers, go-getters and artist/entrepreneurs.
Casey Neistat, courtesy Casey Neistat

Casey Neistat

Casey is the writer, director, editor and star of the series The Neistat Brothers on HBO and won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards for producing the film Daddy Long Legs. His main body of work includes dozens of short films he has released exclusively on the Internet, and his online films have been viewed over 50,000,000 times in the last 3 years. His first job in New York City was as a bike messenger. Neistat is a true luminary of tenacious DIY culture, harnessing the potential of digital channels, but still unafraid to deploy good old-fashioned blood, sweat and duct tape. His keynote is sure to provoke, galvanize, and remind us that for creatives, there are no more excuses left.

Also new for 2014, we’re introducing Future15s. These are short, intense salvos featuring each Future15 speaker delivering a 12-minute solo performance before being replaced by the following speaker three minutes later. It’s fast, fun, and inspiring.

Check out this little glimpse of the lineup so far below, including Panels, Future 15, Digital Domain, Workshops, SXsports and Meet Ups. Stay tuned this Thursday, when we announce our first batch of Mentors and Meet the Insiders. As always, to take full advantage of the full range of sessions at SXSW Film, you MUST register for a Film, Gold or Platinum badge - head here to find out how!

Got questions on today's content announcement or on other matters related to the 2014 SXSW Film Festival? The SXSW Film Festival staff will be doing a Reddit AMA at 2:00pm Central Daylight Time on October 21. Click here to learn more about the overall schedule for SXSWeek.


Future 15s:

Digital Domain:



Meet Ups:

Photo credits:
Lena Dunham by Jessica Miglio / HBO
Jason Blum courtesy Blumhouse Productions
Casey Neistat courtesy Casey Neistat