‘Rogue One’ Director Gareth Edwards Set as SXSW Speaker

Dave McNary
Variety

South by Southwest has tapped Gareth Edwards, director of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” as one of its keynote speakers for the March 10-19 conference.

Other speakers announced Monday include Adam Grant, author of “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World”; Zane Lowe, creative director and L.A. anchor for Beats 1; and expedition photographer Cory Richards. They join previously announced keynotes director Lee Daniels (“Empire”), geneticist Jennifer Doudna, and “Transparent” co-creator Jill Soloway.

New featured speakers include “Transparent” actress Kathryn Hahn, designer Marc Jacobs, along with business and tech influencers Whitney Wolfe and Padmasree Warrior.

Edwards’ directing credits include “Godzilla” and “Monsters.” “Rogue One,” starring Felicity Jones, opens on Dec. 16.

“The programming announced today reflects a lot of the bigger-picture trends we think will be getting the most buzz in March 2017,” said Hugh Forrest, SXSW chief programming officer.

“These trends include innovation in the transportation space, the rise of artificial intelligence, more emphasis on innovation within healthcare, and an increase in creative industry inclusion,” he added. “Of course, the biggest trend for SXSW is always the convergence of the technology, music, and film industries, as different people from different sectors gain incredible value by sharing new ideas and new approaches to common challenges.”

The conference will also include a session titled “Elephant on Madison Avenue” to discuss sexual harassment and gender bias in the advertising industry, and how it compares to tech, and a session featuring Mark Cuban called “Is Government Disrupting Disruption?”

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