2023 South by Southwest: What to expect at this year’s SXSW event

Febuary 1, 2023

Updated February 14, 2023

by Carla Hay

After changes made because of the COVID-19 pandemic, South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals has switched from being the hybrid in-person/online event that it was in 2022, to being primarily in-person-only event for the 2023 edition of the event, which takes place from March 10 to March 19 in Austin, Texas. SXSW is arguably the best-known event in the U.S. that combines music, film, interactive and convergence programming. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, SXSW was an in-person-only event. In 2020, SXSW was cancelled because of the pandemic. In 2021, SXSW was a virtual-only event.

Here are some of the anticipated highlights of the festival:

The lineup of SXSW keynote speakers includes:

  • Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert
  • Actor/producer/author Priyanka Chopra Jonas with Amazon and MGM head of studios Jennifer Salke
  • Grammy Award-nominated artist Margo Price with Rolling Stone associate managing editor Angie Martoccio
  • Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton with Sundance Film Festival director Eugene Hernandez 
  • Unfold The Universe: NASA’s Webb Space Telescope: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), released its first full-color images and spectroscopic data on July 12, 2022. As the largest and most complex observatory ever launched into space, Webb went through a six-month period of preparation before it began science operations with 50 major deployments, careful alignment of the mirrors, and calibrating the instruments. In this session, join NASA Goddard Communications Team Lead for the James Webb Space Telescope Laura Betz, Astrophysicist and James Webb Space Telescope Deputy Project Scientist for Exoplanet Science Dr. Knicole Colón, Planetary Scientist and James Webb Space Telescope Deputy Project Scientist for Planetary Science Dr. Stefanie Milam and Astrophysicist and Deputy Project Scientist for James Webb Space Telescope Science Communications Dr. Amber Straughn as they review Webb’s latest scientific discoveries, discuss how this observatory will continue to explore the uncharted territories of our cosmos, and share a never before seen image from the James Webb Space Telescope.
RZA (Photo courtesy of RZA)

Featured speakers include:

  • Signal And Cipher CEO/chief futurist Ian Beacraft
  • University of Texas at Austin chemistry professor Dr. Kate Biberdorf
  • Founder of Royal/DJ Justin Blau, aka 3LAU
  • Voices of VR podcast founder/host Kent Bye
  • Gonzo journalist and Channel 5 creator Andrew Callaghan
  • New York University’s Stern School of Business professor/author Dolly Chugh
  • CURRAN founder Tommy Dorfman
  • Director and screenwriter Julia Ducournau
  • Harvard Business Review contribtor Amy Gallo
  • Indeed CEO Chris Hyams
  • New York University’s Stern School of Business professor/author/podcaster Scott Galloway
  • Get Lifted Film Co. co-founder/partner Mike Jackson
  • Luminate CEO Rob Jonas
  • Grammy Award-nominated artist Valerie June
  • Wired co-founder/senior maverick Kevin Kelly
  • KORA Organics founder/CEO and supermodel Miranda Kerr
  • Grammy-award winning rapper Killer Mike
  • Actress/director/activist Eva Longoria
  • Starts With Us and KIND Snacks founder Daniel Lubetzky
  • Multi-talented entertainer Cheech Marin
  • Author Heather McGhee
  • Warner Chappell Music co-chair/CEO Guy Moot
  • Psychotherapist/author/podcasterauthor Esther Perel
  • Filmmaker/musician Boots Riley
  • James Beard Award-winning chef Sophia Roe
  • Author and former IBM chairman/president/CEO Ginni Rometty
  • Author/professor/Team Human podcast host Douglas Rushkoff
  • Rapper/filmmaker RZA
  • Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute executive director Simran Jeet Singh
  • The Ocean Cleanupfounder/CEO Boyan Slat
  • Mycologist/author/inventor Paul Stamets
  • University of California, Santa Barbara associate professor of environmental politics Leah Stokes
  • Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor
  • Chobani founder/CEO Hamdi Ulukaya
  • Author/professor Aldora.io founder/CEO Joost Van Druenen
  • Future Today Institute CEO Amy Webb
  • Software engineer/writer/Web3 is Going Just Great founder Molly White
  • Strangeworks founder/CEO whurley
  • 23andMe co-founder/CEO Anne Wojcicki
  • Reddit COO Jen Wong
  • Athleta chief brand officer Kyle Andrew in conversation track and field Olympian Allyson Felix and podcast host Gloria Riviera
  • CALLEN founder/CEO Craig Allen in conversation with Marketing Manager at Athletes First Bryan Burney, running back for the Texas Longhorns Bijan Robinson, and Director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin Natalie Tindal, Ph.D., APR
  • Futurist authors Rohit Bhargava and Henry Coutinho-Mason
  • Sextech School founder/Future of Sex podcaster Bryony Cole in conversation with Josephmark executive creative director Alex Naghavi
  • Exectuive producers Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof (Peacock’s “Mrs. Davis”)
  • Variety Intelligence Platform executives Gavin Bridge, Heidi Chung and Andrew Wallenstein
  • Former “Scandal” co-stars/Unpacking the Toolbox podcasters Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes
  • Seven Seven Six founder and former Reddit executive chair Alexis Ohanian in
    conversation with 776 Foundation and Fellowship Program director Lissie Garvin, Upenndo! Productions founder Maya Penn, and Hydrova Inc co-founder CTO Rostam Reifschneider
  • Author Cheryl Strayed (“Tiny Beautiful Things”) with showrunner Liz Tigelaar
  • Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, and Gillian Gilbert of New Order in conversation with The Times rock & pop critic Will Hodgkinson 
  • General Motors chair/CEO Mary Barra withCEO, CTO, President, and co-founder of Cruise and co-founder of Twitch Kyle Vogt
  • Actress/Hello bello co-founder Kristen Bell, Hello Bello CEO Erica Buxton, andactor/comedian/Hello Bello co-founder Dax Shepard
  • TBWA\North America chief diversity officer Aliah Berman with#MeToo Movement founder Tarana Burke
  • Joby Aviation founder/CEO JoeBen Bevirt withChief Sustainability Officer at Delta Air Lines Pam Fletcher
  • Unilever chief digital and commercial officer Conny Braams, Netflix president of worldwide advertising Jeremi Gorman,MediaLink founder/CEO Michael Kassan, and Delta Air Lines senior vice president and chief marketing and communications Tim Mapes
  • OpenAI co-founder and president Greg Brockman with Dot Dot Dot Media founder/CEO Laurie Segall
  • United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
  • General Partner at Benchmark Bill Gurley withinvestor/author Tim Ferriss
  • Comedian/author Chelsea Handler withMSNBC host and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
  • Colossal CEO/co-founder Ben Lamm
  • Activist/DJ Chelsea Manning
  • DJ J.ROCC with DJ/Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf
  • Golden Globe Award-winning actor/author  William Shatner
  • Formula 1 global director of race promotion Chloe Targett-Adams

Featured Sessions

David Chang (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Descriptions courtesy of SXSW:

2050: Digital Identity is a Human Right: As we become more and more digital as a
species, it’s critical that we don’t forget about our human rights. Something as simple as
owning your identity becomes a complicated issue in the digital realm of the metaverse,
web3 and web5. But in an interconnected digital world, how can we be sure that our
Digital Identities won’t be data mined, duplicated, or stolen? In this session, join Senior
Vice President at Unstoppable Domains Sandy Carter as she draws on her decades of
experience being on the cutting edge to imagine a future where Digital Identity is seen
as a Human Right.

The Art of Creating Influence 101: In this crash course, join female trailblazers such as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Young Money Records Karen Civil, rhythm and blues singer Savannah Ré, DJ, producer, and creative curator DJ Rosegold, on-camera host, music journalist, publicist, and founder of Remixd Magazine Tallie Spencer, and founder of Socially Loud Randa Quraan as they offer real and fresh viewpoints on how to navigate a career in entertainment, media, and marketing while building your own brand. Whether you’re looking to work in these fields, or you’re an artist wondering how to market yourself, this panel will discuss tips for getting yourself noticed and marketing your skills in order to grow your brand, and most importantly your influence. 

Autonomous Driving: More Time to Do What You Love: The future of mobility will be
electric, autonomous, entertaining and above all: exciting. There is a paradigm shift
happening as the automotive industry transitions gradually to a safe autonomous driving
future and a new sense of freedom is coming for both drivers and passengers sooner
than you might think. In this session, join founder and CEO of ZYNC Rana June,
founder and CEO of Luminar Austin Russell and Member of the Board of Management
of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and CTO Markus Schäfer as they discuss how the
software-defined car, autonomous technology and embedded entertainment content aim
to give you back your most valuable resource — time — and how this lets you
experience your car like never before.

Bijan Mustardson & the Future of NIL Partnerships: In 2022, creative agency CALLEN
and Bijan Robinson launched the dijon mustard brand Bijan Mustardson, a partnership
made possible by recent changes with NIL rules for college athletes. In this session, join
founder and Chief Creative Officer of CALLEN Craig Allen, Marketing Manager at
Athletes First Bryan Burney, running back for the Texas Longhorns Bijan Robinson,
and Director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College of
Communication at the University of Texas at Austin Natalie Tindal, Ph.D., APR as they
discuss how creative agencies can invest in more than a campaign and build a true
business partnership for long-term success, developing a product and growing a brand
with a celebrity business partner, and how to adapt to and anticipate where the NIL
market is headed.

The Blog Era: Hip-Hop’s Wild Wild West: The Blog Era was the intersection where hip-hop really met the internet. Thanks to a handful of nobodies behind keyboards, the careers of Drake, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi and hundreds of cultural centerpieces were launched, entire industries were brought to their knees, and the course of pop culture was changed forever. In this session, ItsTheReal, together known as creators Eric Rosenthal and Jeff Rosenthal, will sit down in a live setting for the first time with artists and insiders of the time and run back the highs, the lows, and the lawsuits ahead of the April premiere of their new podcast series: The Blog Era

Build the Damn Thing with Kathryn Finney: Founder and Managing Partner of Genius
Guild and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kathryn Finney’s book, Build the Damn
Thing: How to Start a Successful Business if You’re Not a Rich White Guy, is a
hard-won, battle-tested guide for every entrepreneur who the establishment has left out.
In this session, join Finney for a conversation where she will share her storied career as
an entrepreneur, inclusion champion, and investor who funds Black founders and
women entrepreneurs in pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams.

Building an Open Metaverse: As it stands today, a sole metaverse does not exist. What
does exist are thousands of virtual worlds, many of which are connected through Ready
Player Me’s network; an avatar system used by over 3,000 app and game developers. It
is this interoperable network that has earned their reputation as a default avatar platform
for the metaverse. In this session, join co-founder and CEO of Ready Player Me Timmu
as he focuses on the importance of collaboration and building out partnerships in
order to create an open metaverse and what brands need to do in order to make this

Building a Sustainable Economy in the Metaverse: As the metaverse is being created, it
is our responsibility to build a sustainable foundation. But, how sustainable is the journey
to this virtual landscape? In this session, join co-founder and CEO of VNTANA Ashley
, founder and CEO of Emblematic Group and Director of Arizona State
University’s Narrative and Emerging Media program Nonny de la Peña, and founder of
Friends With Holograms Cortney Harding, as they discuss what the metaverse is today
and explore how to build an inclusive environment, drive a shared value for businesses
and creators, empower consumers, and enable ways to measure impact to create digital

Creating Happiness: The Art & Science of Disney Parks Storytelling: For nearly 70
years, Disney Parks has created happiness for millions through experiences that bring
Disney’s beloved stories to life. Across its theme parks, hotels, cruises and adventures,
Disney Parks has curated magical places around the world where a simple moment can
become a treasured lifelong memory. The ‘Art & Science’ of storytelling is the secret to
how Disney amazes its Guests and delivers memorable experiences. In this session,
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro will share how
Disney’s storytelling techniques will build on its legacy of creativity and innovation for a
world that can always use just a little more happiness.

Crushing: The Burden of Diabetes on Patients: 1 in 10 Americans live with diabetes,
making millions of tiny decisions to keep themselves alive. For the most resourced
patients in America, the burden of diabetes still looms large over their heads — so what
does that mean for patients without access to the best of the best in tools and
treatments? In this session, join Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod, singer,
songwriter, actor and member of the Grammy Award-nominated band Jonas Brothers
Nick Jonas, Executive Vice President and COO of Dexcom Jake Leach and the Pastor
of the Pattison United Methodist Church in Pattison, TX, Rev. Mireya Martínez as they
share their perspectives that span the diabetic ecosystem to answer the question: are
we doing enough?

Troy Kotsur (Photo courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Daddy Issues in Film: Frank Rossi. Jonathan Kent. Jack Byrnes. Darth Vader. All of these characters add layers of complexity and emotion to their respective films as the stories unfold—and the connective tissue between them is their shared role as father. In this session, join Academy Award-winning actor Troy Kotsur and filmmaker, founder of the Emergent Order Foundation (EOF), and host of the Dad Saves America podcast John Papola as they explore fatherhood in film, the evolution of fathers as integral characters, and how family, in all of its varied forms, remains an important part of how we tell stories on the screen. Emergent Order Foundation will also screen an exclusive clip from their upcoming short documentary about Troy Kotsur’s relationship with his dad.

Data Privacy After Roe v. Wade: The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a watershed moment
for the privacy of people seeking reproductive care. A person’s browser history, search
history, location, and private messages can now be used by law enforcement or private
citizens to pursue people who are suspected of having or aiding an abortion. When
people’s most private digital information can be used against them, can tech companies
change their practices to better protect their users’ privacy? Plus, as some states try to
outlaw websites that tell people how to access abortion care, can advocates ensure that
reliable health information remains online? In this session, join co-founder of
Supermajority, New York Times bestselling author, and former President and CEO of the
Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Cecile Richards, President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology
Alexandra Reeve Givens, and CEO of The Markup Nabiha Syed for a discussion on
ways advocates are working to protect users’ privacy and access to information at this
critical moment for reproductive rights.

Dateline 24/7: How the True Crime Powerhouse Became a Podcast Empire: In this session, join Executive Producer of Dateline NBC Elizabeth Cole, Senior Executive Producer of Dateline NBCDavid Corvo, Correspondent for Dateline NBC Josh Mankiewicz, Correspondent for Dateline NBC Keith Morrison, and actress, comedian, screenwriter, and producer June Diane Raphael for a conversation about how NBC’s longest running primetime program evolved into a true crime powerhouse with a mega podcast hub. With numerous #1 podcasts, including The Thing About PamMotive for MurderDateline: Missing in America & Mommy Doomsday, along with a Dateline 24/7 streaming channel on Peacock, the team will discuss how the true crime juggernaut is reaching a new generation of fans with its signature storytelling.

Design for a Better Future: In this session, dare to imagine a future where we can hack
our bodies, make energy available to every human, create schools for lifelong learning,
feed astronauts on their way to Mars, and make disabilities a thing of the past. Through
unexpected designs and storytelling, co-founder and Owner of Nonfiction Mardis Bagley
and Partner and Creative Director at Nonfiction Phnam Bagley will walk you through the
possibilities of unbound imagination, and what it really takes to turn science fiction into

Don’t be a Drag, Just Be a Queen: 2022 saw a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills
introduced across the country, and we’ve already seen one Texas lawmaker announce
that he will introduce a bill to ban youth from attending drag shows next year. The heated
political discourse has led to threats against Pride celebrations and drag shows around
the world. We know these debates are negatively impacting LGBTQ youth — and that
access to affirming spaces and representation is crucial to mental health. In this session,
join drag queen, makeup artist, author and trans rights activist Gottmik, drag queen
Jaida Essence Hall, attorney, activist, Adjunct Professor of Law at American University
Washington College of Law and Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The
Trevor Project Preston Mitchum and drag queen and model Symone as they discuss
drag’s historical roots and cultural significance today, why promoting self-expression is
so important, and how we can all help create a more accepting world.

Driving Personal Health Forward: The Role of Apple Watch and iPhone: Since the release of the Health app in 2014 and Apple Watch in 2015, Apple has introduced a wide array of powerful and innovative features, across areas like heart health, mobility, sleep, mindfulness and menstrual health. In this session, Vice President of Health at Apple Dr. Sumbul Desai and Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Liz Plosser will discuss Apple’s approach to creating tools that empower people to lead healthier lives and examine how science-based technology can act as an intelligent guardian for health, moving people from being passengers on their own health journey into the driver’s seat.

Evil Dead Rise: Flesh-Possessing Demons Come Home: Join writer/director Lee Cronin, series creator and horror icon Sam Raimi, cult legend and “Ash” himself Bruce Campbell, and stars Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland for a look at the new film that moves the action out of the woods and into the city…. The panel will discuss how the film not only pays homage to the beloved franchise, it also expands the Evil Dead universe, turning a crumbling apartment building into an urban “cabin in the woods” and putting the action squarely in the hands of two chainsaw-wielding women. Deadites will never be the same again… Evil Dead Rise tells the tale of two estranged sisters, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.

An Imminent Shift In The Plant Based Ecosystem: Consumers are finding themselves at
a long-awaited intersection: diets are shifting to prioritize nutrition and environmental
impact at a time when food innovation is booming and new brands hoping to address
consumer’s fluctuating priorities emerge daily on grocery shelves. However, when food
culture drives buying decisions in a sea of indistinguishable plant-based options, how do
emerging products bust the paradigm of what people can expect from alt-meat? Where
will consumer behavior go and how will the industry keep up? In this session, join
founder of Momofuku and Majordomo Media, James Beard Award-winning chef, host of
The Dave Chang Show and Recipe Club podcasts, and New York Times bestselling
author David Chang, co-founder and CEO of Meati Foods Tyler Huggins, co-founder, Chief Concept Officer of Sweetgreen Nicolas Jammet, and Head of Content
at SutherlandGold and lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Aditi Roy as they discuss this shift and what the implications are for buyers and the food
industry, ending with a hands-on activation where attendees will experience and taste
mushroom root.

An Inside Look at “Blindspotting” Season 2 with Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs: In this session, writer, director, actor, poet, musician, and Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner of Blindspotting Rafael Casal joins Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, rapper, co-Creator and Executive Producer of Blindspotting Daveed Diggs for a preview of the second season of the critically acclaimed-comedy series Blindspotting, coming to STARZ in April, and to celebrate its world premiere at SXSW.

Have a Good Trip: Psychedelics in Film and TV: Psychedelics are easy to stigmatize and
criminalize. Case Study: the last 50 years. Enter GOOD TRIP STUDIOS, the
psychedelic company with a mission to destigmatize psychedelics through entertainment
and pop culture. Their movie Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics was an
official 2020 SXSW selection and launched as the #1 Netflix movie worldwide
accumulating tens of millions of views in the first month. The documentary features A-list
celebrities and artists discussing their personal psychedelic experiences and helped
spark the current psychedelic renaissance. In this session, join comedian, actor and
Creator and Host of The Eric Andre Show Eric André, Emmy Award-winning writer,
producer and director Donick Cary (Have a Good Trip, The Simpsons), Global Impact
Officer at MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Natalie
and Executive Producer and Showrunner of The Eric Andre Show Mike
as they discuss how psychedelics are portrayed in media and how they
have inspired artists and pop culture. They will also share exclusive clips and stories
from other planets!

How Music, Entrepreneurship & Independence Intersect: How can artists build careers
off their music, own their intellectual property, and transcend into new ventures to build a
multi-faceted company? Just ask the team behind EVGLE, a company that brings all
verticals in-house spanning records, publishing, media, fashion and ventures. In this
session, hear from Billboard R&B / Hip-Hop Rookie of the Year and multi-platinum artist,
producer and co-founder and CEO of EVGLE Blxst, co-founder and President of EVGLE
Victor Burnett, co-founder and COO of EVGLE Karl Fowlkes and R&B/Hip Hop
Reporter at Billboard Heran Mamo on how to take the necessary steps to build a
successful entertainment company that transcends cultural boundaries.

The J Dilla Effect: Breaking Barriers Through Beats: James Yancey, aka J Dilla, is one
of the greatest all-time hip-hop producers, a musical genius and visionary that inspired
artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Pharrell Williams, Erykah Badu, and many others. Dilla
made ultimate sacrifices to build opportunities for young, diverse creators to continue
breaking down societal and cultural barriers. Curated by Save The Music, this session
will feature founder and Chairman of the James Dewitt Yancey Foundation and J Dilla’s
mother Ma Dukes and Grammy Award-winning DJ and music producer DJ Jazzy Jeff
as they share personal stories of Dilla’s life and how his work changed hip-hop culture,
while exploring how to carry on his legacy by investing in culturally rich communities to
provide equitable resources for young creators to achieve economic stability and
success through music and technology.

José Andrés: The Stories We Tell Can Change the World: Chef and Humanitarian José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen (WCK) with the simple belief that a plate of food is more than a meal—it’s hope and comfort in times of crisis. Since 2010, WCK has provided more than 250 million nourishing meals in response to disasters around the world, most recently the wildfires in Chile, earthquakes in Türkiye, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In the face of unthinkable tragedy, the WCK team sees the best of humanity in the people who show up for their community. This keynote will dive into the responsibility that comes with hearing these stories and the power of storytelling to move people to act. 

The Kids Are (Not) Alright: Gun Violence Terrorizing Youth of America: Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for American kids. In 2021, there were 1,572 youths killed in gun violence with an 80% increase in Black youth and 46% in Hispanic youth. February 14th marks the 5th anniversary of the Parkland school shooting that took 17 lives and inspired a global youth movement. Last May, the Uvalde school shooting surpassed Parkland as the deadliest to date with 21 lives lost. In the same month, a manifesto by the shooter of 10 Black victims at a supermarket in Buffalo self identified as a known supporter of white supremacy, voicing support for the far-right “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory in the context of a “white genocide”. For the first time, mass shootings have been described as acts of domestic terrorism. In this session, join co-Founder of Lives Robbed Jazmin Cazares, human rights activist and founder and CEO of Life Camp Erica Ford, first Gen-Z Member of Congress Representative Maxwell Frost, Parkland survivor/activist Samantha Fuentes, and Peabody Award-winning director and producer Kim A. Snyder as theyaddress youth trauma, activism, and what justice looks like in a time of rising hate crimes involving firearms.

John Leguizamo (Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

Leguizamo Does America: Next Stop – Austin: In this session, join Director Ben DeJesus, Emmy Award-winning Senior National Correspondent at NBC News Tom Llamas, Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian, and film producer John Leguizamo, and Executive Producer and Showrunner Carolina Saavedra as they preview the upcoming MSNBC Films and NBC News Studios series Leguizamo Does America. Llamas will moderate an in-depth discussion with Leguizamo, DeJesus and Saavedra on Leguizamo’s storied career and the groundbreaking new series that focuses on the unmistakable influence and contributions of U.S. Latinos. 

More Than a Joke: The Road from Sitcom Success to iHeartPodcasts Powerhouse: Daytime Emmy Award-winning actor and New York Times bestselling author Brian Baumgartner and SAG & WGA Award-winning actor, writer, producer, and comedian Ed Helms are known as TV and film funny men, but they’ve branched out into podcasting with iHeartPodcasts – in surprising ways. Ed’s show SNAFU tackles the stories of history’s epic screw ups, and Brian’s show Off the Beat gets guests to talk about their favorite jobs. In this session, join the moderator, co-Host of the podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class Holly Frey, as she finds out what led these comedians to seek out meaningful stories in the audio medium, and how they manage to still keep it humorous.

Online Crime: An American Crisis: Cybercriminals, con artists, digital spies. We call them many things, but they all have the same motive – to steal your data, information and ultimately, your money. Last year, Americans lost nearly $7 billion dollars to online crime. There’s no denying that tech has enabled incredible progress, but our increased connectivity comes with great risk. It’s time to take the best of technology and put it to work for protection vs. exploitation and battle back against the relentless onslaught from hackers. In this session, join Academy Award-nominated actor and producer Robert Downey Jr.,New York Times bestselling author Maria Konnikova,former FBI counterintelligence operative, cybersecurity consultant, attorney and authorsecurity consultant, author, attorney, and public speaker Eric O’Neill, and founder and CEO of Aura Hari Ravichandran for a riveting discussion about the true scope of the crisis Americans are facing, a look inside the minds of cybercriminals and how they are able to manipulate our families and wallets, and thoughtful solutions on what can really be done to fight back. 

Onyx Collective Presents “UnPrisoned”: Inspired by Tracy McMillan’s Life, UnPrisoned is a half-hour comedy about a messy, but perfectionist relationship therapist and single mom whose life is turned right-side-up when her dad gets out of prison and moves in with her and her teenage son. In this session, join writer and Creator of UnPrisoned Tracy McMillan, actor Marque Richardson, actor Faly Rakotohavana, actress Jordyn McIntosh, and Primetime Emmy Award-winning actress and Executive Producer of UnPrisoned Kerry Washington for an intimate discussion on the new Hulu series produced by ABC Signature. 

Open Minds: Innovations in Consciousness, Psychedelics & Mental Health: Psychedelic-based therapies continue to influence the evolving landscape of mental health. As humanity begins to understand the complexity of consciousness and its impact on mental health, these worlds will become increasingly intertwined. In this session, join founder of The Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global, Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, and New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra and guests from the upcoming mini-series Open Minds CEO of Cybin Inc. Doug Drysdale, M.D., Psychotherapist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Cristie Strongman MA, Ed.M., and actress, activist, and co-founder of the Never Alone Initiative Gabriella Wright as they explore the connection between consciousness, mental health, and psychedelic therapeutics and the need for humanity to focus on the internal work required to heal.

Own Your Data: Empowering Our Digital Future: In this session, co-founder of the Own
Your Data Foundation and author Brittany Kaiser will explain how she decided to
become a whistleblower to protect our human rights in the digital space and discuss the
issues that Big Tech has presented us with (lack of transparency, uninformed consent,
no tracking or traceability, monetization of our data without any value going to us, etc),
as well as the solutions she believes are essential to making technology more ethical
and congruent with rights protection.

Paul Giamatti’s CHINWAG with Stephen Asma: In this session, Academy Award-nominated actor, comedian and film producer Paul Giamatti and Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago Stephen Asma will record a special episode of their forthcoming weekly podcast CHINWAG. In front of a live studio audience, Paul and Stephen will dive into one of their favorite topics of conversation — MONSTERS. They will explore the fears and fascinations we share about some of Western culture’s worst nightmares in an unexpected, and maybe even hilarious chat.

Reigniting Fan Engagement at Live Events: The importance of community and human
connection was more prevalent than ever when World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
returned with its biggest event of the year, WrestleMania, in April 2021. This historic
event featured the first Black female Superstars to main event WrestleMania, celebrity
appearances, live music performances and the unveiling of WWE’s new signature,
“Then. Now. Forever. Together.” to recognize and celebrate WWE fans, their community
and the message of inclusivity. As WWE prepares to host WrestleMania 39 at SoFi
Stadium in Los Angeles this coming April, Chief Content Officer of WWE Paul “Triple H”
will discuss in this session the road to WrestleMania, the importance of the
WWE Universe and how this community has evolved.

Social Media Town Hall: In the early to mid 2000s, many of the pioneers of social media gathered at SXSW to brainstorm about the potentials and possibilities of these new platforms for communication. 15 years later, so much of the optimism of those early discussions has fallen by the wayside. So where do we go from here? Is it possible to build a new kind of social media that emphasizes our shared humanity as opposed to our divisions? In this interactive session featuring co-founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Media Center Steve Rosenbaum and Tech Culture Reporter for The Washington Post Nitasha Tiku, attendees are invited to come to the microphone and offer their one minute solution on what a more functional system of scalable networked communication looks like.

To Trip or Not to Trip: The psychedelic science torch is getting passed to the next
generation, with fresh perspectives on both ancient and future medicines. In this session,
join Writer and Director of Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, chemist, and science journalist
Hamilton Morris, professor of Pharmacology at Louisiana State University Health
Sciences Center Charles Nichols, adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill and Professor Emeritus at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy David
E. Nichols
, co-founder and Partner at Palo Santo Tim Schlidt, and endowed professor
of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Trauma and Director of the Center for Psychedelic
Psychotherapy and Trauma Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
and Director of Mental Health at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Rachel Yehuda as they explore the future of psychedelic science and answer questions
such as, can we take the “trip” out of psychedelics, do we want to, and will “next gen”
psychedelic compounds have an advantage over today’s medicines?

True Grit: 3 Stories of Overcoming Life’s Challenges To Make It In The Music Business: In this session, join Executive Vice President, General Counsel at Fender Aarash Darroodi, singer-songwriter, producer, activist, writer, orator, model, visual artist, and actress Kam Franklin, Music Writer at the Austin American-Statesman Deborah Sengupta Stith, and co-founder and frontman for the band Delta Spirit Matthew Logan Vasquez as they take a deep dive into the unique life stories of three individuals with very divergent paths, but who share a common theme of overcoming challenges and obstacles in life to ultimately achieve success in the music business. 

Understanding the Role of AI in Reshaping the Film & Television Industry: In this thought-provoking session, join Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley Angjoo Kanazawa,actor, producer, and co-founder and President of Wonder Dynamics Tye Sheridan, filmmaker, VFX supervisor, entrepreneur, and co-founder and CEO of Wonder Dynamics Nikola Todorovic, and Delta Electronics Professor and Head of the AI+D faculty at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Antonio Torralba as they examine the latest AI-powered innovations in the film and television industry and explore how it will change the way we create and consume media.

Voting is a Civil Rights Issue: American elections and democracy continue to be
attacked in a ploy to justify rolling back civil liberties and voting rights when we should be
expanding those rights and making it easier for everyone to participate in the democratic
process. In this session, join Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, President of
the Drum Major Institute Arndrea Waters King, Chairman of the Board of the Drum
Major Institute Martin Luther King III, civil rights leader Ralph G. Neas and founder and
CEO of Tusk Philanthropies and the Mobile Voting Project Bradley Tusk as they share
their insight into how we can expand access to voting for marginalized groups.

Why is America Afraid of Its (Black) History?: William Faulker wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” But if the past is still with us, why has learning the true history of the United States become a battleground in our national culture wars? And are we doomed to repeat it? In this session, writer, producer, and founder and CEO of The Who We Are Project Jeffery Robinson, Community Organizer for the Texas Freedom Network Corisha Rogers, andfounder, Owner, and Principal Guide of Black Austin Tours Javier Wallace, Ph.D. will use Robinson’s documentary short How to Rig an Election: The Racist History of the 1876 Presidential Contest (SXSW 2023) as a springboard for a conversation highlighting the efforts of Black truth tellers to shine a light on our country’s past and change the direction of our collective future.

Music Performances

SXSW is considered a premiere showcase for established and emerging artists. Some of the announced artists who will be performing include Armani White, Algiers, Balming Tiger, Beenzino, Edie Bens, iLe, Ladaniva, Max Cooper, Mightmare, Núria Graham, The Orielles, Otoboke Beaver, RVG, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Son Rompe Pera, Steam Down, Thao, Yazmin Lacey and Yogetsu Akasaka.

Other music artists set to perform are Ambré, be your own PET, deca joins, English Teacher, The Lemon Twigs, Obongjayar, Oracle Sisters, OSEES, Painted Shield, Paraísos, ROGÊ, Shanghai Baby, Sobs, Sunflower Bean, Tokio Meyers, UNI and the Urchins and The Zombies.

Also in the music showcase lineup are Anwan “Big G” Glover, Coco & Clair Clair, Dende, Diana Burco, DJ_Dave, EKKSTACY, Frankie Rose, Immersion, Isabella Lovestory, Killer Mike, Maiya The Don, Michigander, Militarie Gun, New Order, Peter One, PJ Sin Suela, Protomartyr, Savannah Ré, Tangerine Dream, THUS LOVE, TiaCorine, Venbee and more.

Showcases and presenters include Adult Decisions, Alcopop! Records, Anniversary Group, Aquarium Drunkard, ASCAP, ATC Live, Athens in Austin, Atomic Music Group, Bad Time Records, Bayonet Records, BBC Introducing, BreakOut West, British Music Embassy, CareFreeBlackGirl, The Color Agent, Consequence of Sound, Dance to the Radio, DAWA Heals, Dedstrange, DEL Records, DJ Ace presents Everything R&B, Don Giovanni Records, EMPIRE, End of the Trail, Father/Daughter Records, Fierce Panda Records, Fire Records, Fire Talk, FOCUS Wales, Force Field PR, Gold Diggers, Good Karma Club, Gorilla vs Bear, Holodeck Records, Hundred Palms, Island Wave, Italians Do It Better, Jazz re:freshed Outernational, Keeled Scales, Kill Rock Stars, KUTX The Breaks, Laneway Festival, Leafy Outlook, Levitation, The Line of Best Fit, The Loyalty Firm, M for Montreal, Marca Única, Marshall Music, Mint Talent Group, Music From Ireland, New West Records, Now Wave, Penny Loafer PR, POP Montreal, Post-Electric Artists, Post-Trash, PRIMA Fund, Reeperbahn Festival, Rocky Road Touring, Rolling Loud, Rolling Stone, Scruff of the Neck, Secret Sounds, Selector presents Jamz Supernova, Six Shooter Records, Space Agency, Spaceflight Records, The Spanish Wave, Speedy Wunderground, Taiwan Beats, Traffic Music Group, Vibe Magazine, We Were Never Being Boring, Wide Days Scotland, WISE x STRRR, WOMEX and ZZK Records.

Movie and TV Premieres

Pictured in front: Justice Smith, Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez in “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

World premieres at the 2022 SXSW Film & TV Festival include:

  • Opening-night-film “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (sci-fi/fantasy/action) directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley; starring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Hugh Grant.
  • “Problemista” (drama), directed by Julio Torres; starring Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton and RZA.
  • “Flamin’ Hot” (comedy/drama), directed by Eva Longoria; starring Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez and Dennis Haysbert.
  • “Late Bloomers” (comedy), directed by Lisa Steen; starring Karen Gillan, Margaret Sophie Stein, Jermaine Fowler, Kevin Nealon and Talia Balsam.
  • “Moustache” (comedy), directed by Imran J. Khan; starring Atharva Verma, Rizwan Manji, Alicia Silverstone and Hasan Minhaj.
  • “Parachute” (comedy/drama), directed by Brittany Snow; starring Courtney Eaton, Thomas Mann, Gina Rodriguez, Joel McHale, Scott Mescudi and Dave Bautista.
  • “Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life” (documentary), directed by Dan Covert.
  • “Bloody Hell” (comedy), directed by Molly McGlynn; starring Maddie Ziegler, Emily Hampshire, Djouliet Amara and Ki Griffin.
  • “Deadland” (drama), directed by Lance Larson; starring Roberto Urbina, McCaul Lombardi, Julieth Restrepo and Chris Mulkey.
  • “Down Low” (comedy), directed by Rightor Doyle; starring Zachary Quinto, Lukas Gage, Simon Rex, Audra McDonald and Judith Light.
  • “If You Were My Last” (comedy/drama), directed by Kristian Mercado; starring Anthony Mackie, Zoë Chao and Natalie Morales.
  • “Being Mary Tyler Moore” (documentary), directed by James Adolphus.
  • “The Lady Bird Diaries” (documentary), directed by Dawn Porter.
  • “The New Americans: Gaming a Revolution” (documentary), directed by Ondi Timoner.
  • “The Wrath of Becky” (action), directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote; starring Lulu Wilson, Seann William Scott and Matt Angel.

TV shows that will have episodes premiering at SXSW 2022 include the Season 2 premiere episode of Starz’s “Blindspotting”; “Slip,” directed by Zoe Lister-Jones; “Mrs. Davis,” directed by Owen Harris and Alethea Jones; and “I’m a Virgo” directed by Boots Riley.

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