Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker books a headline spot at SXSW Sydney

Brooker is joining SXSW Sydney as a headline speaker next month.

Charlie Brooker, the creator of the Netflix anthology series Black Mirror, will be joining SXSW Sydney as a headline speaker. The Sydney event, the first SXSW to take place outside of Austin, Texas, will be held in October.

A spokesperson for SXSW Sydney said: ‘Revealing humanity’s worst traits, greatest innovations and the darkest side of our future, Black Mirror shocks audiences with every episode. Much like SXSW Sydney, Black Mirror provides commentary on our potential futures and how we can shape them.’

Brooker joins more than 1,000 events and sessions said to draw inspiration from visionary thinkers worldwide across tech and innovation, screen, music, games and culture.

‘Having to quickly provide a personal quote for a press release about how excited I am to join the inaugural Sydney-flavoured SXSW event is exactly the sort of thing ChatGPT is for, but I’ve written this one myself because I still care about our species, dammit,’ Brooker said. ‘Although I initially misspelt “inaugural” just then until I got corrected by a machine, so actually maybe we’re just rubbish.

‘This tense love-hate relationship with technology is what Black Mirror is all about. That and stories about Prime Ministers and pigs. Anyway, I can’t wait to attend and get so cowed by all the creativity and innovation on display that I go home feeling depressed and inadequate. I’m genuinely looking forward to it.’

Colin Daniels, Managing Director, SXSW Sydney said: ‘SXSW Sydney seeks to offer unique perspectives of the future, making Charlie Brooker an ideal speaker for our event. Black Mirror consistently leads the cultural conversation on what we face in the now or may confront in our future, offering a chance for reflection and change. Charlie embodies what attendees can expect from SXSW Sydney: creativity and innovation.’

Brooker will appear alongside previously announced headliners including GRAMMY Award winner Chance The Rapper, Coachella festival CEO Paul Tollett, Slack Co-Founder Cal Henderson, futurist and AI expert Amy Webb.

Other speakers already announced include de-extinction entrepreneur Ben Lamm, Motion Picture Association CEO Charles Rivkin, advertising icon David Droga, Google Australia MD Mel Silva, Netflix ANZ Director of Content Que Minh Luu, broadcaster Osher Günsberg, World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley, tech entrepreneur Paul Bassat, Reddit CMO Roxy Young, and artistic director Wesley Enoch, Expedia CTO Rathi Murthy.

SXSW Sydney runs from 15-22 October 2023. Visit the website.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites