SXSW announces keynote speakers for 2017

SXSW 2016 day before preparation - KXAN/Dave Byknish

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For one week in Austin, music, movies, gaming and technological innovations take over the city with the annual South by Southwest festival.

The keynote speakers for 2017 have been announced. Lee Daniels was the first speaker named in a list of eight people each with notable accomplishments.

Lee Daniels 

Daniels is known for his work writing, producing, directing, and philanthropy. His most notable directing accomplishment was for the 2009 movie Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, which received six Academy Award nominations. Daniels also become the first African-American nominated for the Directorial Achievement in Feature Film Award. He will speak at the 2017 SXSW Film Conference Keynote.

Jennifer Doudna 

Dr. Jennifer Doudna is a professor at the University of California in molecular and cell biology in addition to chemistry. Throughout her career she has received numerous awards for her breakthroughs in life sciences, genetics, and biomedical research. Dr. Douda was also named Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. She will speak at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Conference Keynote.

Gareth Edwards

Gareth Edwards has just wrapped up directing his third movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You can watch the trailer here. He is known for his innovative approach for computer graphics. Through his ingenuity Edwards has received awards from the BAFTA for his documentary Hiroshima. Edwards was also named Broadcast Magazine’s Young Talent of the Year in 2005. He will speak at the 2017 SXSW Film Conference Keynote.

Adam Grant

Teacher, writer, and author all describe Adam Grant. He was named as the best teacher at the Wharton school. Grant is also known for his numerous bylines in the New York Times as well as his books Originals: How Non Conformists Rule the World and Give and Take: Why Helping Other Drives Our Success. He landed in the number one spot for New York Times bestsellers. He will speak at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Conference Keynote.

Zane Lowe

This New-Zealand native is known as a DJ, producer and TV presenter. Lowe hosted the BBC’s global music show for 12 years. Now he works for Beats 1, Apple’s very first international radio station, as a creative director and LA anchor. He will speak at the 2017 SXSW Music Conference Keynote.

Cory Richards 

In 2012, Richards was awarded National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year. Three years later he was also chosen as a National Geographic Fellow. Richards then made it to the top of Mt. Everest in 2016 without the help of supplemental oxygen. He will speak at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Conference Keynote.

Nile Rodgers

This music legend is known for his numerous Grammy wins as a producer, composer, arranger and guitarist. Rodgers has worked on more than 200 musical projects spanning a variety of genres. He will speak at the 2017 SXSW Music Conference Keynote.

Jill Soloway 

This director has received two Golden Globes and five Emmys. Soloway was also nominated for ten Emmys for the TV show Transparent featuring Jeffrey Tambor. She will speak at the 2017 SXSW Film Conference Keynote. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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