As her new film "Selma" begins to surge in the year-end awards race on its way to a Christmas Day opening, filmmaker Ava DuVernay was announced today as keynote speaker for the upcoming
Musical artist, producer and actor RZA also was announced Tuesday to deliver a keynote speech. Filmmaker, producer and actor
Last week DuVernay became the first black woman nominated in the
"Ava DuVernay's career evolution is fascinating," Janet Pierson, head of SXSW Film, commented in a statement. "She began directing independent films while running her own successful marketing firm before expanding into distribution and now she is helming a groundbreaking studio picture. Her passion, fearlessness, and excellence are extraordinary."
Though RZA was initially known as a member of the rap group the
"RZA may seem like a somewhat out-of-the-box choice for a film keynote given his prominence as a musician," Pierson said. "What is inspiring is how his love of film has informed his entire career and creativity. We're intrigued by his increasing work as a multi-hyphenated filmmaker, actor and curator."
Further programming announcements are expected to come in early January.