Film & Tech Fusion at SXSW 2024

Film and Tech Fusion at SXSW 2024

The SXSW Film & TV Festival has a well-known reputation for bringing some of the biggest industry titles and talent to Austin each March. While the glitz and glam of the Red Carpet draws in international crowds, attendees continue to return year after year for the wide range of sessions, panels, mentorships, and more that the SXSW Conference offers.

From indie and student filmmakers to award-winning pros, SXSW Conference Tracks like Creating Film & TV and Film & TV Industry welcomed registrants to in-depth discussions on the impact of technology.

While subjects like AI, Virtual Production, and Real-Time Tech are hot-button issues in the world of cinema, 2024 speakers discussed their insights on the challenges and possibilities ahead. Browse the collection below and listen to sessions you might have missed this season.

Creativity Unleashed: The Film, XR, & AI Artist Revolution

  • Tahnee Gehm, Lead at BrightEye Studios
  • Pratik Suketu Shah, Filmmaker / Creative Technologist at tikiLabs
  • Adriana Vecchioli, Filmmaker & XR Designer at Velvet Unicorn
  • The AI/XR revolution is causing intense anxiety for creators. Hear from indie artists and filmmakers who have adapted their creative process by fusing traditional film know-how with cutting-edge tech. Discover the transformative power of these tools, from AI-driven VFX to accessible immersive storytelling.

    Listen to Session

    Diversity, AI, and the Future of Hollywood

  • Kamala Avila-Salmon, Head of Inclusive Content at Lionsgate Motion Picture Group
  • Rebecca Finlay, CEO of Partnership on AI
  • H Schuster, Founder + CEO of HUSSLUP, Inc.
  • Evan Shapiro, Owner and Cartographer at ESHAP
  • The WGA, DGA, and SAG-AFTRA negotiations raised many concerns around the use of AI in Hollywood, from replacing human creators to fostering bias in content. This panel explores the myths and realities of bias in AI with regard to generating content, the need for and limitations of diversity programs to democratize creators’ access to the industry, and how Hollywood will make creative content more diverse and inclusive moving forward.

    Listen to Session

    Dune Two, Real-Time Tech & the Implications for Storytelling

  • Jessica Derhammer, Producer and Unit Production Manager
  • Brian Frager, Unreal Engine Technical Account Manager, Media & Entertainment at Epic Games
  • This fireside chat with Dune: Part Two Co-Producer Jessica Derhammer and Epic Games’ Brian Frager reveal how embracing real-time tools and processes played a role in enabling transmedia storytelling for the saga’s second chapter, across both the film and accompanying game.

    Listen to Session

    Ernest Cline & Readyverse Studios | 2024 SXSW Studio

    Science Fiction writer Ernest Cline and Readyverse Studios colleagues break down the imaginary technology from Ready Player One. Learn how they brought the digital world to life for Hollywood, and how they intend to lay the foundation to bring it into reality.


    SAG-AFTRA’s Duncan Crabtree-Ireland on AI’s Role in the Future of Hollywood

  • Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator at SAG-AFTRA
  • Brendan Vaughan, Editor-In-Chief at Fast Company
  • Securing groundbreaking wins around AI, the successes of SAG-AFTRA’s 2023 TV/Theatrical strike was instructive across industries and sectors. The SAG-AFTRA story provided a road map for future labor negotiations — especially for workers who have found their professions at risk of disruption or displacement due to AI. Along with session moderator Brendan Vaughan (Editor-in-Chief, Fast Company), Crabtree-Ireland discussed the recent strike, how AI can help and harm creative professionals, and the renewed focus that labor can have to safeguard jobs in a new era of rapid technological advancement.

    Listen to Session

    Virtual Production On a Micro Scale

  • Rick Castañeda, Head at Vibrant Penguin
  • Anthony Kelani, CTO at Mursion and Co-founder at DNABLOCK
  • Stefan Li, Content Creator at TheSushiDragon
  • Laura Reich, Head of Production at Vibrant Penguin
  • Mandalorian-sized volumes can cost up to $100,000/day, but innovative Twitch streamers are engineering their own solutions to leapfrog the big studios and teleport themselves into the future. Utilizing motion capture suits, AR filters, green screens, Unreal Engine, and other custom software, these innovators are gaining mass amounts of followers and revolutionizing the game show and talk show formats. This panel looks at the logistics of entering the virtual world on a very real budget, how technology can be the ultimate tool for creativity, and what new opportunities are being created.

    Listen to Session

    Visual (R)evolution: How AI is Impacting Creative Industries

  • Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator at SAG-AFTRA
  • Brendan Vaughan, Editor-In-Chief at Fast Company
  • Is the emergence of AI tools merely the most recent inflection point in the creative toolkit or a larger sea change in creative technology? This panel reflects on technology inflection points of the past and discuss how AI may simply become just a new department and arrow in the quiver for storytellers.

    Listen to Session

    XR Experience

    SXSW Exhibition

    At the intersection of the SXSW Film & TV Festival and Exhibitions is the world of XR.
    About 30 projects are on display each year accompanied by the writers, engineers, artists, and designers behind each immersive experience.

    Learn More
    XR Experience Jury award winner, The Golden Key – Photo by Adam Kissick

    XR Experience Jury award winner, The Golden Key – Photo by Adam Kissick


    Watch SXSW On Demand

    Go beyond sessions, showcases, and screenings during exclusive interviews at the SXSW Studio with Host Juju Green, best known as Straw Hat Goofy across social media. Watch Conference Keynotes and select Featured Sessions on our official SXSW YouTube Channel. Browse the full list of available content and stay tuned for more event recaps.

    See Y'all Next Year

    Coordinate your calendars and save PTO accordingly for SXSW 2025! The SXSW Conference & Festivals return March 7-15 in Austin, TX.

    2025 applications open late this summer beginning with the SXSW PanelPicker® on June 25. Stay tuned for updates on participation opportunities, registration, and more event information – subscribe to SXSW Event Updates.

    Follow us across the socialverse for event updates and exclusive coverage on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

    (Teaser Photo:) XR Experience – Photo by Adam Kissick

    Super Sponsors

    Stay Tuned

    Sign up to receive the latest announcements, tips, networking invitations and more.