SXSW Adds Iron Man, Captain Kirk, New Order to Speaker List
Robert Downey Jr., William Shatner, Deepak Chopra headed to Austin
By Richard Whittaker,
11:00AM, Tue. Feb. 14, 2023
The South by Southwest speaker list for the conference side of this year's festival (running March 10-19) may be its most star studded to date, with Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton, Oscar-nominees Robert Downey Jr. and Paul Giamatti, and electronic pioneers New Order just announced as speakers.
It's not just them: pop culture legend William Shatner (whose new bio-doc, Call Me Bill, is screening at the film festival), new-new era psychedelic advocate Deepak Chopra, comic Chelsea Handler, and a whole library's worth of NYT best sellers will be joining them.
And don't expect to hear Downey Jr. discussing arcane corners of Marvel lore: instead, he'll be part of Online Crime: An American Crisis, a panel tackling the massive impact of cybercrime and technologically-enabled fraud.
After all, SXSW isn't just about podcasts (although that's why Giamatti will be in town, to discuss his new podcast CHINWAG with Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago Stephen Asma). Technology will also be at the heart of Understanding the Role of AI in Reshaping the Film & Television Industry. As artists prepare to fight back at the push to let AI take over the creative industries, expect a boisterous discussion from all side of the debate, including technologists and researchers from UC Berkeley and MIT.
Much like Shatner, there's a whole host of speakers who are pulling double-duty this year. Swinton, who stars in film festival headliner Problemista, will sit down with Sundance Film Festival director Eugene Hernandez, while the cast and crew of eagerly-awaited horror Evil Dead Rise will also talk about their run-ins with deadites. On the music side, all three members of seminal electro-dance-rock pioneers New Order - Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, and Gillian Gilbert - will look back at their genre-bending/defining career as they make their SXSW performance debut.
SXSW 2023 runs March 10-19, 2023. Badges and further info are available now at sxsw.com.
Also, make sure to follow all our coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.
● Actor, producer, and New York Times bestselling author Priyanka Chopra Jonas with Head of Amazon and MGM Studios Jennifer Salke
● Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, producer, and author Margo Price with Associate Managing Editor at Rolling Stone Angie Martoccio
● Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton with Director of Sundance Film Festival Eugene Hernandez
● 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.
● Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, and Gillian Gilbert of New Order in conversation with The Times rock & pop critic Will Hodgkinson — From the ashes of legendary band Joy Division, New Order triumphed over tragedy to emerge as one of the most influential and acclaimed bands of all time. Their debut Movement (1981) was overshadowed by the sound of Joy Division; going forward the band combined post-punk with influences from New York’s club scene, the result was Power, Corruption & Lies (1983). 1983 also saw the release of "Blue Monday" which became the bestselling 12-inch single of all time, selling over 3 million copies worldwide. New Order then released the albums Low-Life (1985), Brotherhood (1986), Substance (1987) and Technique (1989). Between several brief hiatuses and line-up alterations, Republic (1993), Get Ready (2001) and Waiting for the Sirens’ Call (2005) came out, before Peter Hook’s departure in 2007. The band released their critically acclaimed tenth studio album Music Complete in 2015 featuring guest vocals from Iggy Pop, Brandon Flowers and Elly Jackson of La Roux. Never resting on their legacy, New Order continue to perform live around the world, playing some of the biggest shows of their career to date, headlining Manchester’s Heaton Park and London’s O2 in 2021 and a US arena tour with Pet Shop Boys in Autumn 2022.
● Chair and CEO of General Motors Mary Barra with CEO, CTO, President, and
co-founder of Cruise and co-founder of Twitch Kyle Vogt
● Actress, philanthropist, entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and co-founder of Hello Bello Kristen Bell, CEO of Hello Bello Erica Buxton, and actor, comedian, filmmaker, host of the podcast Armchair Expert, and co-founder of Hello Bello Dax Shepard
● Chief Diversity Officer of TBWA\North America Aliah Berman with activist, advocate, author, and founder of the #MeToo Movement Tarana Burke
● Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation JoeBen Bevirt with Chief Sustainability Officer at Delta Air Lines Pam Fletcher
● Chief Digital and Commercial Officer at Unilever Conny Braams, President, Worldwide Advertising at Netflix Jeremi Gorman, founder and CEO of MediaLink Michael Kassan, and Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Delta Air Lines Tim Mapes
● Co-founder and President of OpenAI Greg Brockman with founder and CEO of Dot Dot Dot Media Laurie Segall
● United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
● General Partner at Benchmark Bill Gurley with investor, New York Times bestselling author and host of the podcast The Tim Ferriss Show Tim Ferriss
● Comedian, television host, six-time New York Times bestselling author, and Dear Chelsea podcast host Chelsea Handler with MSNBC host and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
● Co-founder and CEO of Colossal Ben Lamm
● Activist, technologist, network security expert, author, and DJ Chelsea Manning
● DJ J.ROCC with DJ and founder of Stones Throw Records Peanut Butter Wolf
● Golden Globe Award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, recording artist, and New York Times bestselling author William Shatner
● Global Director of Race Promotion for Formula 1 Chloe Targett-Adams
● 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.
● 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.
● 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.
● 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 NBCs David 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 Pam, Motive for Murder, Dateline: 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.
● 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 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.
● 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.
● 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 they address youth trauma, activism, and what justice looks like in a time of rising hate crimes involving firearms.
● 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 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 author 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.
● 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.
● 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.
● 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.
● 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.
● 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, and founder, 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.