SXSW Film Releases First Wave of Panels

The Mr. Robot crew are back

While SXSW may be far off on the horizon, the dispatches have begun to come in, so let's get to it.

Rami Malek and Christian Slater enjoy an appletini on Mr. Robot. (Courtesy of USA Network)

SXSW Film has confirmed its first round of panels and featured sessions for next year's Fest. Highlights include the return of the creator of this summer's breakout hit, Mr. Robot, Sam Esmail, who, with stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater, will take part in the panel “Coding on Camera: Mr. Robot & Authenticity on TV.” The show was lauded for, among other things, its realistic depiction of computer hacking, unlike the majority of TV shows out there (I'm looking at you, CSI: Cyber). Esmail and co. premiered the pilot at last year's Fest, where it took home the Audience Award in the Best Episodic category.

Also announced were a couple of Featured Sessions: Jake Gyllenhaal (recently seen in Southpaw and Everest) and independent film producer Sarah Green, best known for her work with Terrence Malick, Julie Taymor, and John Sayles. Green currently wrapped up working on Jeff Nichols' follow-up to Mud, Midnight Special. Both will take part in the Fest's Conversation series. A quick perusal of the panels this year sees Scandal's Kerry Washington discussing the new rules of social stardom, and Austin-based stand-up comedian and web celeb Zach Anner presenting “The Art of Starting From Nothing.” Anner became an Internet phenomenon a few years back when he won a contest put on by the Oprah Winfrey Network to host his own show. To catch you up, check out our profile, “Have Wheels, Will Travel.”

The press release teases more announcement in the coming months, including keynote speakers and the film lineup, but for now, here's the first wave of panels:

2016 SXSW Film Conference Sessions

Inspiration from thought leaders, experts, and innovators including Keynotes and conversations.

The Art of Starting From Nothing
(Organized by: Zach Anner / Zach Anner Productions)

A Conversation with Jake Gyllenhaal

A Conversation with Sarah Green

Learn everything you need to know about developing and crafting your project.

360 Degree Editing
(Organized by: Kyle Henry / Northwestern University School of Law)

Across the Border: Finding International Partners
(Organized by: Elizabeth Sheldon / Kino Lorber Inc.)

Deliverables Today
(Organized by: Jason Tobias / Broad Green Pictures)

Documentary to DocuSeries and Beyond
(Organized by: Elsa Ramo / Ramo Law)

Everything You Need: Producer Bootcamp for Digital
(Organized by: Julie Gomez / Upright Citizens Brigade Theater)

FairUse-Docs & Fiction Films-Everybody is Welcome!
(Organized by: Michael Donaldson / Donaldson & Callif LLP)

How To Make (The Most Of) Your Music Budget
(Organized by: Amanda Thomas / Neophonic Music & Media)

Latino Filmmaker Meetup & Quick Pitch
(Organized by: Liz Arreaga / Mercury Mambo)

The Making Of: How to Create iTunes Extras
(Organized by: Brian Ellis / Apple)

Peace Officer: A Character Film Driven by Issues
(Organized by: Scott Christopherson)

Round Tables: Legal
(Organized by: Erik Metzger / Intel Corporation)

US-Europe Co-Prods Grow Without Treaty!
(Organized by: Holger Carlsson / Little W Productions USA)

Essential tools of the trade for distribution, marketing, sales, and more.

1 Month and a Small Wad of Cash: Speed Marketing
(Organized by: Tiffany Pritchard / StudioCanal UK)

Con Man: The Fan Revolt 13 Years in the Making
(Organized by: Drew Lewis / Wunderman)

How Crowdfunding Can Screw Your Distribution Plan
(Organized by: Missy Laney / Sundance Institute)

Humanity Rising: Storytelling to End Injustice
(Organized by: Christina Hollenback / Televised Revolution)

New Dealmakers Talk New Distribution
(Organized by: Zac Bright / Preferred Content)

Theatrical + Festival DIY Power Combo
(Organized by: Bryan Glick / The Film Collaborative)

Explore how filmmaking is evolving to embrace new forms and technologies.

Enter the Void
(Organized by: David Kaplan / Animal Kingdom)

A Filmmaker’s Exploration of Outer Space
(Organized by: Allison Hirata / IMAX Corporation)

New Partnerships in Digital Storytelling
(Organized by: Jennifer Samani / ITVS Interactive)

Through Our Eyes: Female Filmmakers Tell All
(Organized by: Catherine Eaton / Corsetless Productions)

Underage@SXSW: No Parties? No Problem!
(Organized by: Jessikha Block / PhoneFlip Productions)

Wake Up Streaming: Future Film-Loving Communities
(Organized by: Tom Roston)

Your Character & New Technology in Storytelling
(Organized by: Alexandra Barnett / Sunshine Sachs)

Explore the changing landscape of entertainment, focusing on TV, episodic content, boundary-pushing digital storytelling.

Better than Sync: Why Music Partnerships Work
(Organized by: Jeremy Peters / Ghostly International+Ghostly Songs)

Brandvertainment: How Norton Hacked Hollywood
(Organized by: Shauna Sweeney / FilmBuff)

Breaking Down Borders Between TV and Online Video
(Organized by: Bob Gohn / Text100 Global Communications)

Breaking into TV in the Digital Age
(Organized by: Dani Leonard / Big Vision Empty Wallet)

Coding on Camera: MR. ROBOT & Authenticity on TV
(Organized by: Kayra Contreras / USA Network)

Creating a Meaningful Dialogue Through Video
(Organized by: Alana Zeitchik / Vimeo)

Creating Brand Fans: Lessons From Game Marketers
(Organized by: Jessica Andersen / The Concept Agency)

Creative Thievery = What’s Yours Is Mine.
(Organized by: Mary Crosse / Pile O' Bones Derby Club)

Film Music & TV Music: Who Gets Paid, Why and How?
(Organized by: Scott McKinlay / Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund).

Fuck You, Sue Me: Artist Rights, Corporate Theft
(Organized by: Andrew Gerber / GAVL)

How A Viral Video Led to an Experiential Empire
(Organized by: Maria Gonima / Rooster Teeth Productions)

It’s My Two Cents With Larry King
(Organized by: Laura Hertzfeld / Ora TV)Kerry Washington & The New Rules of Social Stardom

Laugh & Scream: 360 Video, Skybound, Conan O'Brien
(Organized by: Rich Jones / Fortyseven Communications)

LEGO Group & Cartoon Network, Building Future Fans
(Organized by: Michael Ouweleen / Cartoon Network)

Lighting Hollywood's Real and Virtual Actors
(Organized by: Vicki Hanson / Rochester Institute of Technology)

Making Reality Shows for the Web (That Don't Suck)
(Organized by: Chris Demarais / Rooster Teeth Productions)

Music in Trailers: How Music Drives Film Marketing
(Organized by: Dan Silver / RipTide Music)

New Hollywood: Social Media Storytelling
(Organized by: Brittany Frizzell / Moviepilot)

Political Satire & Its Comedic Effect on Policy
(Organized by: Natali Johnson / Turner Broadcasting)

Social Media: The New TV Show Launchpad
(Organized by: Kim Garcia / VaynerMedia)

What I Learned from Publishing a Book on Instagram
(Organized by: Mesa Dobek / RPA)

Writer's Blockchain: Full Stack Storytelling
(Organized by: Ann Greenberg / Sceneplay Inc.)

Discover how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will change the future.

5 Best Startup Ideas in VR / AR
(Organized by: Kevin O'Malley / TechTalk/Studio)

Can VR Deliver More Emotion than Movies and Games?
(Organized by: Nicole Lazzaro / XEODesign Inc.)

Exploring a Holographic Mars
(Organized by: Jeff Norris / NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

The Future is Now: City Planning Using Social VR
(Organized by: Renee Cheng / University of Minnesota)

Game Design for VR Pioneers
(Organized by: Theresa Duringer / Temple Gates Games)

Mars Experience VR
(Organized by: Julian Reyes / Fusion Media Network)

New Advertising Models for Virtual Reality
(Organized by: René Pinnell / Kaleidoscope Media)

Prologue VR-Creating 360 films using stop motion
(Organized by: Kimberly Cooper / Prologue VR)

Sucked Into the Story: Virtual Reality and News
(Organized by: Eric Carvin / Associated Press)

Using Virtual Reality to Create Compassion
(Organized by: Chelsea Sanders / Sunshine Sachs)

Virtual Reality and the Rebirth of the Music Video
(Organized by: Randi Brant / Future Colossal)

Virtual Reality for Serious Sports Training?
(Organized by: Peter Fadde / Southern Illinois University)

Virtual Reality - Is It The Ultimate Brain Hack?
(Organized by: Amanda Purvis / SutherlandGold Group)

Virtual Tourism: VR, 360 & the Travel Industry
(Organized by: Susannah Dilallo / Rapid VR)

VR Porn: Future Is Upon Us, What’s Next?
(Organized by: Stephen Yagielowicz / XBIZ)

VR, AR & Digital Storytelling
(Organized by: Shadee Malekafzali / Beck Media & Marketing)

Your Brain on Virtual Reality
(Organized by: Zoltan Nadasdy / NeuroTexas Institute Research Foundation)

The 2016 South by Southwest Film Festival takes place March 11-19. For more information, go to

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