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Ava DuVernay, RZA Are SXSW 2015 Keynote Speakers

Ava DuVernay, RZA Are SXSW 2015 Keynote Speakers

Every year SXSW adds some 150 provocative speakers, workshops and panels to its nine days of screenings of some In addition to nine full days of film screenings. The program focuses on the intersection of the Film, Interactive and Music worlds. 
Each keynote session is held at 11:00am from Saturday, March 14 – Tuesday, March 17, 2015. 

“DuVernay and RZA exemplify the entrepreneurial, risk-taking DIY spirit of SXSW while seamlessly working across various disciplines,” states the press release. 

Head of SXSW Film Janet Pierson has long been a DuVernay fan and follower: 

Ava DuVernay’s career evolution is fascinating. 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.”

As for RZA, who “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.”

A writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film, DuVernay won the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award and the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award for her second narrative feature “Middle of Nowhere.” DuVernay directed “I Will Follow,” “Venus Vs.,” “This is the Life” and “Scandal.” “Selma,” which is nominated for four Golden Globe Awards including Best Director, follows the 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo). DuVernay founded AFFRM, the film distribution collective dedicated to African-American cinema. She sits on the boards of Film Independent and the Sundance Institute.
RZA is a multi-Grammy-award-winning producer, BAFTA-nominated film composer, recording artist and actor. He is a prominent figure in hip hop music and the creator/producer of the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA has composed scores for filmmakers Ridley Scott, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Mann and Quentin Tarantino. He also scored the Emmy-nominated American adaptation of the Japanese anime “Afro Samurai,” executive produced by and starring Samuel L. Jackson. RZA appeared in “Mr. Right,” “Gang Related,” “The Man With the Iron Fists,” “American Gangster,” “Funny People,” “Due Date,” “The Next Three Days” and “G.I. Joe 2.”

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