SXSW Sydney first films and speakers announced

SXSW Sydney returns in October with an extensive program of talks, films, games and music. Here's what we know so far.

The first lineup of speakers, conference subjects, music artists, games and films has officially been announced for SXSW Sydney 2024.

The program currently includes the likes of Hamish Blake, David Warner, Courtney Act, Craig Tiley, David Gallop, and Australia’s first female astronaut, Katherine Bennell-Pegg. Companies featured include TikTok, Atlassian, IBM, Taronga Zoo, and over 50 more speakers and performers.

‘After the success of the inaugural SXSW Sydney in 2023,  we are once again inspired by the overwhelming response from the creator communities to participate in the 2024 program,’ said Geoff Jones, SXSW Sydney Chair and TEG Group CEO. ‘This is the first of many announcements as we roll out the extensive and diverse range of visionaries & creative thinkers from around the Globe that make up the SXSW Sydney 2024 conference lineup.’

‘SXSW Sydney is about discovery and an opportunity to be surrounded by the best and brightest minds from Tech & Innovation, Games, Music, Screen and Culture. This year’s SXSW promises to be as inspiring as ever.’

Read: SXSW Sydney wrap-up: every film, series and conference we reviewed

Last year’s SXSW Sydney included standout sessions from Chance the Rapper (celebrating 50 years of Hip Hop), Nicole Kidman, Black Mirror creator Charlie Booker, and futurist and AI expert Amy Webb, as well as a robust program of feature films, documentaries and shorts from all over the world.

Here are some highlights from the newly announced program that may interest film and TV makers and watchers alike:

Speakers from the screen world

Here are the screen and screen-adjacent speakers announced for SXSW Sydney so far:

  • Award-winning Australian filmmaker and director of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 2Simon McQuoid
  • Gomeroi and Torres Strait Islander writer, actor, director and publisher, Nakkiah Lui
  • Boy, Girl, Artist, Advocate, global queer icon, Australian entertainer and television personality, Courtney Act
  • CEO and Founder of multi-million dollar production studio Spawnpoint Media, Jordan Barclay (AKA EYstreem)
  • Filmmaker, 2019 Australian of the Year, and Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Dr Richard Harris SC OAM

Talks on screen topics

So far, there is one talk announced that encompasses the screen world in its discussion, and that’s Beyond the Big Screen: Film Tech in the Real World (with Aaron Corera of XM2, Filmmaker Gregory Read, and Duncan Jones, CEO of Myriad Studios).

Films showing at SXSW Sydney

The films announced for SXSW Sydney so far are:

  • Fish Tank | Wendi Tang, China/USA – Jules, a Chinese American woman, has been sober for a year but can’t stop vomiting goldfish. Striving to put her life back on track, she must preserve control when a fish enthusiast unexpectedly enters her life.
  • Meat Puppet | Eros V, UK – Oz, neglecting his girlfriend’s graduation for toys, receives a puppet.  Trying it on, his soul is trapped.  With his human body dying, he faces his life choices.  To save his relationship and survive, he must do what he’s always avoided: grow up.
  • Vivie | Hweiling Ow, New Zealand – A sexually frustrated young woman is desperate to persuade her vagina to open up when she bumps into an ex-boyfriend.
  • Make Me a Pizza | Talia Shea Levin | USA – A very hungry woman tells a pizza delivery guy she can’t pay for the pizza she ordered. But can the sex she offers instead of currency possibly equate to the true value of a pizza? Is there anything that can be worthy of pizza, aside from what the market has decided? Together the two decide that their only option is to become the pizza object themselves, to make each other into pizza, in order to become free.

SXSW Sydney will take place from 14 – 20 October, 2024. To see the entire lineup so far, and for more information, head to the SXSW Sydney website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports