“Girls” creator Lena Dunham, horror producer Jason Blum and YouTube sensation Casey Niestat will deliver keynote addresses at the 2014 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, SXSW announced Tuesday.
Next year will be the first that the Austin, Texas, film festival is programming keynote addresses, modeled on those at its sister festival, SXSW Interactive.
Each of the keynote speakers fits into one of the distinctive niches at SXSW, which is known for its horror films, comedies and low-budget offerings.
Dunham, who created and stars in the HBO series “Girls,” premiered her feature film “Tiny Furniture” at SXSW in 2010. Blum, the founder and CEO of Blumhouse Pictures, has forged his career producing highly profitable low-budget horror films like the “Paranormal Activity” franchise and “The Purge.” And Niestat, who is the writer, director and star of the HBO series “The Niestat Brothers,” is a former New York City bicycle messenger who made his name producing dozens of short films for the Internet.
In addition to the keynote addresses, SXSW also announced its first batch of panels for the 2014 festival, which will include talks on such topics as “Building a Social Media Duck Dynasty” presented by Elizabeth Lloyd of A&E Networks and “U.S. Immigration Options for Film Professionals,” organized by Sharon Brenner of Surowitz immigration P.C.
The SXSW Film Conference and Festival will take place March 7-5 in Austin, Texas.