South by Southwest Conference and Festivals has added Film Keynote Jessica Brillhart along with a new round of Featured Speakers including Busy Philipps, Elisabeth Moss, and Frank Oz to the 2019 programming lineup. Among the Featured Speakers revealed are Clovyr co-founder Amber Baldet; singer and actor Lance Bass; Black Girls CODE founder Kimberly Bryant; musician and activist Laura Jane Grace; puppeteer, director and producer Frank Oz; Backstage Capital founder Arlan Hamilton; actor and comedian Kevin Hart; philosopher and writer Jaron Lanier; actress and producer Elisabeth Moss; The Daily Show host Trevor Noah; actress and writer Busy Philipps; GSD&M chairman and co-founder Roy Spence; and more. Additionally, best-selling author and researcher Brené Brown has been added as the SXSW 2019 Opening Speaker.
Jessica Brillhart, founder of independent studio Vrai Pictures, is an immersive director, writer, and theorist. She was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google where she worked with engineers to develop Google Jump, a virtual reality live-action capture ecosystem. Brillhart joins previously-announced Keynotes Joseph Lubin (Interactive), Shirley Manson and Lauren Mayberry (Music), Marti Noxon (Film), and Kevin Systrom with Josh Constine (Interactive).
“A shining star in the immersive arts community, Jessica Brillhart is an early explorer trying to define storytelling in the immersive world and she’s spearheaded early innovation in creating stories using VR, AR, and AI,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film. “We are excited to share her perspectives on this exciting field, as well as from our many esteemed Featured Speakers in entertainment, business and technology.”
SXSW Conference programming is organized into 25 tracks divided between Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence, presented in a variety of session formats. Once again, SXSW is offering expanded access to events for all registrants. Attendees will receive primary access to programming associated with their badge type but now also enjoy secondary entry to most other SXSW events.
Jessica Brillhart (Film) — Jessica Brillhart is an immersive director, writer, and theorist. She’s the founder of the independent studio, Vrai Pictures. Previously, Jessica was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google where she worked with engineers to develop Google Jump, a virtual reality live-action capture ecosystem. Since then, Jessica has made a range of highly acclaimed VR experiences, working with such entities as NASA, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence program, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Weather Channel. In 2017, Jessica was heralded by MIT Technology Review as an innovator and pioneer in the field of virtual reality filmmaking and immersive entertainment.
Elisabeth Moss (Entertainment Influencers) –– Elisabeth Moss can soon be seen in Alex Ross Perry’s HER SMELL and Jordan Peele’s Us, both of which will be opening theatrically in March of 2019. Moss is currently starring in the Emmy Award-winning Hulu drama series The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the acclaimed Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, on which she also serves as a producer. Among the many honors and accolades she has received are Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Drama Series and Best Drama Series. Other upcoming credits include In The Kitchen opposite Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish and with Michael Stuhlbarg in Shirley, which she produced, as well.
Frank Oz (Entertainment Influencers) — Frank is a four-time Emmy winner and recipient of The Art Director’s Guild Award, The Comedy Awards’ Creative Achievement Award, Saturn Lifetime Achievement Award, George Foster Peabody award, and others. He’s performed with The Muppets and on the Star Wars Films. The dozen feature films he’s directed include Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, In & Out, The Score, and Death at a Funeral.
Busy Philipps and Hillary Kerr (Entertainment Influencers) –– Busy Philipps is an actress best known for roles in cult TV classics like Dawson’s Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Cougar Town, ER, and most recently HBO’s Vice Principals. She has appeared in fan-favorite films such as Made of Honor, I Don’t Know How She Does It, He’s Just Not That Into You, White Chicks, and The Gift. She also was one of the writers of the hit film Blades of Glory. In fall 2018, her late-night talk show Busy Tonight premiered on E!. Hillary Kerr is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Clique Brands, a content, commerce, and consumer brands company that includes WhoWhatWear.com, Byrdie.com, MyDomaine.com, CollegeFashionista.com and the Who What Wear Collection.
Lance Bass (Music Industry & Culture) –– Lance Bass is the quintessential illustration of a highly successful and driven jack-of-all-trades: singer, host, actor, producer, writer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and cosmonaut. Beyond his fame as a member of the phenomenally successful group *NSYNC, where the group sold an impressive 80 million plus records worldwide, Bass has made himself a household name. Producing is his true passion with several films (documentaries and features) and television shows under his belt including: Boy Band Con, Lance Loves Michael-E! special, Celebrity Home Raiders, Kidnapped for Christ, Mississippi: I Am, The Grand, Lovewrecked and On the Line.
Sharks Everywhere! How We Multiplatform Shark Week Featured Session (Making Film & Episodics) –– Every year, Discovery Channel brings Shark Week to audiences on every possible platform and device, from cable TV to Snapchat to social to connected devices to plush toys and Walmart displays. Two of the principal creators / architects of the Shark Week Experience, Fred Graver (Senior Vice President, Digital Content and Social for Discovery Digital) and Scott Lewers (Executive Vice President of Multi-Platform Programming and Digital Media for Discovery and Science Channels) bring you behind the scenes in the creation, distribution and community-building around Shark Week. Includes linear programming, digital production, sponsorships and partnerships and a lot of shark tales!