Ava DuVernay, tipped to become the first black female director to earn an Oscar nomination after scoring a pioneering Golden Globe nod last week, is one of two new additions to the festival.
DuVernay’s Civil Rights drama Selma is in the awards mix and takes her place alongside hip-hop luminary and feature score composer RZA and the previously announced Mark Duplass.
The keynote sessions will take place from March 14-17 under the auspices of the SXSW Film Conference and Festival, set to run from March 13-21 in Austin, Texas.
“Ava DuVernay’s career evolution is fascinating,” said head of SXSW film Janet Pierson. “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
“RZA may seem like a somewhat out-of-the-box choice for a film keynote given his prominence as a musician. 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.”
DuVernay won the 2012 Sundance Film Festival best director award and the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award for her second feature, Middle Of Nowhere.
RZA is the creator-producer of the Wu-Tang Clan and his feature scores include Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai, The Man With The Iron Fists and Blade Trinity.