In 2014, SXSW Film introduced daily Keynotes to launch each day with a bang, so Conference attendees could hit the ground running, inspired by these diverse visionaries from the ever-evolving world of Film.
These 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. 2014 Keynote speakers included Jason Blum, Lena Dunham, Casey Neistat and Marc Webb. As the March event approaches, check back here for our final Keynote announcement.
2015 SXSW Film Keynotes
Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award and the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award for her second narrative feature Middle of Nowhere, Ava DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film. DuVernay’s directorial work includes I Will Follow, Venus Vs., This is the Life and Scandal. Her upcoming film Selma, nominated for four Golden Globe Awards including Best Director, chronicles the historic 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. DuVernay is founder of AFFRM, a film distribution collective dedicated to African-American cinema. She sits on the boards of Film Independent and the Sundance Institute.
Mark Duplass is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and actor who burst onto the indie scene with the Independent Spirit Award-nominated The Puffy Chair (written and directed along with his brother, Jay). Other acclaimed films written, directed and produced by the brothers, include Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives at Home. They created the upcoming 2015 HBO series Togetherness, in which Mark also stars. He has produced a number of recent and upcoming indie films under the Duplass Brothers Productions banner, with notable titles such as Safety Not Guaranteed (in which he also starred), The Skeleton Twins (starring Bill Hader & Kristen Wiig), The Overnight (with Taylor Schilling, Adam Scott & Jason Schwartzman) and Adult Beginners (starring Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne). Mark has starred in a number of films including Your Sister's Sister (for which Mark won a Gotham Award), The One I Love and the upcoming film, Creep, which premiered at SXSW in 2014. Mark is a recurring actor on FOX's The Mindy Project and a regular on the hit FXX show, The League.
RZA is a multi-Grammy® award-winning producer, BAFTA nominated film composer, recording artist and actor. He is a prominent figure in hip hop music and the creator/producer of the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA has scored for filmmakers Ridley Scott, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Mann and Quentin Tarantino. He also scored the Emmy-nominated American adaptation of the Japanese anime Afro Samurai, executive produced by and starring Samuel L. Jackson. RZA’s on-screen credits include: Mr. Right, Gang Related, The Man With The Iron Fists, American Gangster, Funny People, Due Date, The Next Three Days and G.I. Joe 2.
Mark Duplass photo by Jeff Vespa
Ava DuVernay photo by Brigitte LaCombe
RZA photo courtesy of the artist