The South By Southwest organization has announced featured speakers and sessions, and the first wave of musical performers for the festival’s 2017 edition, with Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels tapped to deliver the film keynote. The Precious director and Empire co-creator will be making his first appearance at the annual Austin film, music, and interactive technology conference, happening March 10-19. Daniels, whose new series Star will premiere on Fox in early 2017, joins previously-announced Transparent creator Jill Soloway, who will be delivering the festival’s television keynote.
Other featured speakers announced today include: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs; music supervisor Randall Poster; Television host Rachel Ray; researcher, academic and author Kate Crawford; Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford & C3 Group President and Co-founder Doug Newcomb; researcher and author Parag Khanna; entrepreneur Kimbal Musk; Author Peggy Orenstein; and Vivek Ranadivé, owner and chairman of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
The organization also announced the first featured session, Product Mavericks: Top Tips from Women Who Build. The discussion of women in the sciences and technology sector features panelists Merci Grace of Slack; Stephanie Hannon, Chief Technology Officer for the Hillary Clinton campaign; Tali Rapaport, Lyft VP of Product; and Fidji Simo, Director of Product at Facebook.
Finally, new to South By Southwest for 2017, Interactive, Film, and Music badge holders will receive expanded access to SXSW events. Primary entry will still be focused on programming associated with badge type, but attendees will now receive secondary access to the majority of other events.
SXSW is now accepting digital creative entries for the Interactive Innovation Awards and video game projects for the SXSW Gaming Awards through December 2, startup entries for the SXSW Accelerator competition through November 11, and entries for ReleaseIt, a special pitch competition to be held in Startup Village, through January 13. SXSW is also accepting Feature Film, Short Film & Music Video submissions through October 20.
Early registration for SXSW 2017 closes September 9, 2016 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.