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‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins Set as SXSW Keynote Speaker

“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins has been selected as a keynote speaker at South by Southwest Conference and Festivals.

Jenkins’ feature film debut, “Medicine for Melancholy,” had its world premiere at SXSW in 2008. He won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay with Tarell Alvin McCraney for “Moonlight,” which also won best picture at this year’s Oscars and Golden Globes (drama). His upcoming projects include adaptations of “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “The Underground Railroad.”

“We are overjoyed to invite Barry Jenkins back to SXSW as a Film Keynote, having presented the world premiere of his first feature, ‘Medicine for Melancholy,’ in 2008,” said Janet Pierson, director of film. “‘Moonlight’ is a magnificent piece of work, transcendent, and made on his own terms. We couldn’t be happier for his success and to have this remarkable artist with such a generous soul return to SXSW.”

The event is set for March 9 to March 18 in Austin.

SXSW also unveiled two other keynote speakers on Monday: psychotherapist and best-selling author Esther Perel, and technology entrepreneur and quantum computing expert Whurley. Featured speakers include space entrepreneur and futurist Bob Richards, Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson, “Empowering a Billion Women by 2020” chairman and CEO Ingrid Vanderveldt, artist and poet Cleo Wade, and author and founder of the Future Today Institute Amy Webb.

“SXSW has become a premier destination for innovation and creative discovery,” said Hugh Forrest, chief programming officer. “We’re pleased to begin our 2018 season with strong programming that represents a diverse and talented group of pioneers in the technology, social sciences, healthcare, and entertainment industries. The depth and breadth of knowledge these speakers bring to the event is an excellent indicator that this is going to be one of our best years ever.”

The SXSW has not yet announced titles for its 25th annual festival. Registration opens on Aug. 1.

Perel is the author of the bestseller “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence,” which has been translated into 24 languages. She also wrote “The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.” Whurley is a managing director at Goldman Sachs and the founder of Honest Dollar, a fintech company Goldman purchased in 2016.

Richards is a space entrepreneur, and president and CEO of Moon Express, a space transportation and lunar resources company located at Cape Canaveral. Webb is an author, futurist, and founder of the Future Today Institute

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