Lena Dunham's history with South By Southwest goes all the way back to 2009, when she screened her short film "Creative Nonfiction" at the festival. In 2010, Dunham premiered her award-winning feature "Tiny Furniture" in Austin, Texas. Two years later, it was Dunham's HBO series "Girls" that made a splash at SXSW. Next year, Dunham will return to South by Southwest once again, this time as a keynote speaker, the first time SXSW Film has included those kickoff sessions as part of its lineup.
"Though our conference has long featured dynamic speakers, we’re kicking it to a new level this year. By adding a daily Keynote, we aspire to further highlight and draw all eyes to creators who impact our culture in diverse and fascinating ways,” Janet Pierson, Head of SXSW Film, said in a press release. "Our first three keynotes epitomize the root of what SXSW Film stands for: singular vision, DIY creation, and gleefully coloring outside the established lines."
In addition to Dunham, keynote addresses will be provided by producer Jason Blum ("Paranormal Activity," "Insidious") and filmmaker Casey Neistat. According to SXSW, "each Keynote session, held at 11:00 a.m. from Saturday, March 8 through Tuesday, March 11, 2014, aims to galvanize and empower our audience to do the same."