Photo credit: Megan Miller
SXSW Conference & Festivals 2020 runs March 13 – March 22
Kenya Barris (black-ish creator and showrunner) and Rashida Jones (of Parks & Recreation, Boston Public, and The Office) will be featured speakers in SXSW’s Making Film & Episodics track at this year’s conference.
The event, held March 13 – March 22 in Austin, Texas, allows attendees to immerse themselves in 10 days of “unparalleled discovery, learning, and networking with creatives across interactive, film, and music industries at the SXSW Conference & Festivals.”
The pair will discuss their upcoming Netflix series #blackexcellence, a new show inspired by Barris’ irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture. The show flips the traditional sitcom family on its head and uncovers and explores the messy, unapologetic and often hilarious world of what it means to be from “new money.” The episodic series will showcase the pair as the parents of a Black family trying to get it right in a modern world where “right” is no longer a fixed concept.
Barris, who created and will co-star in the new show, entered into a multi-year overall deal last August to produce new series exclusively at Netflix, according to a Netflix press release. Under the deal, Barris will write and executive produce all projects through his production company, Khalabo Ink Society.
As the creator of the hit, Peabody award-winning comedy series black-ish, along with its successful spin-off series Grown-ish, and the writer of last summer’s comedy blockbuster Girls Trip, Barris has continually demonstrated his ability to tell stories about the Black experience that resonate with all audiences. With an innate sense for what is funny, truthful and timely, Barris will continue to create stories that reflect culture through an urban, youth and female-focused lens.
“Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content at Netflix. “Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world.”
A highlight from the Film & TV Industry track at this year’s conference will feature a conversation between executive producers Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Courtney Kemp from Starz’s Original Series Power. The pair will sit down with president and CEO of Starz, Jeffrey Hirsch, for a look inside the wildly popular drama series as well as upcoming expansions to the Power cinematic universe including the upcoming spinoff, Power Book II: Ghoststarring Mary J. Blige.
Other featured entertainment industry-centric talks at this year’s SXSW 2020 will include:
- Better Call Saul (Making Film & Episodics Track) – A conversation with Better Call Saul co-creator Vince Gilligan, co-creator and showrunner Peter Gould, actor Bob Odenkirk, and actress Rhea Seehorn.
- Other Side of War: “City of a Million Soldiers“ Film Conversation (Making Film & Episodics): Directors, producers, screenwriters actors and editors Anthony and Joe Russo; director, writer and producer Matthew Michael Carnahan; writer, director and producer Mohamed Al Dradji; and actor and star of City of A Million SoldiersSuhail Dabbach in conversation about their collaboration on the Iraq-set film City of A Million Soldiers based on a New Yorker article.
- Sparking Female Stories: Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere (Making Film & Episodics) – Join the powerhouse production team behind Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere, for a conversation around the changing dynamics of the entertainment industry today. Showrunner and executive producer Liz Tigelaar, directors Lynn Shelton, Nzingha Stewart, Michael Weaver, and executive producers Lauren Neustadter of Hello Sunshine and Pilar Savone of Simpson Street will discuss the importance of using storytelling as a means of charting a new path forward for women and how they are working with stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, who are leading the charge in female-driven productions, to transform gender and ethnic representation in film and television.
- Supernatural: 15 Years of Fandom (Making Film & Episodics) – From the series launch in 2005 on the former WB Network to the current 15th and final broadcast season on The CW, Supernatural is a case study in how a little “series-that-could” beat the odds to become the longest-running American sci-fi series in television history. Produced by Warner Bros. Television, series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins will join a panel of Supernatural experts, including Samantha Highfill from Entertainment Weekly and Alice Jester from The Winchester Family Business, to discuss how a series with more than 300 episodes continues to trend on social media, sell out magazine covers and merchandise, pack fan conventions around the world, and be a force for social good — all while trying to make a positive and lasting impact.
- How Women are Reclaiming Their Power to Advance Gender Equity (Film & TV Industry): A conversation exploring the backlash to the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements; the perpetuation and stigma of shame, and how to overcome it; and what responsibility the entertainment industry has in working on intersecting issues core to women’s lives, with The Good Place actress, activist and founder of I Weigh Jameela Jamil in conversation with President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center and co-founder of TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, Fatima Goss Graves.
- The Women Who Run the Shows (Film & TV Industry Track) – A discussion about the experiences of female showrunners, their unique backstories and influences, including their early days in the industry to calling the shots, and their roles in comedy and on set, with multi-talented stand-up comedian, writer, and actress Phoebe Robinson; Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens showrunner Karey Dornetto; and Executive Producer and showrunner of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Jen Flanz.
- For Mature Audiences: The Rise of Adult Animation (Film & TV Industry): A conversation with leading adult animation creators and hitmakers as they discuss their recent hits and how the streaming audience has helped to grow their projects and reach featuring Justin Roiland (Co-Creator and EP, Rick and Morty and Solar Opposite); Mike McMahan (Co-Creator and EP, Solar Opposites, Star Trek: Lower Decks and EP Rick & Morty); and Julie Thacker Scully (Co-Creator/Executive Producer, Dunanville). The panel will be moderated by Billy Rosenberg, Director of Content Development and Head of Comedy, Hulu.
- Latino Film Institute: Pipeline, Platform & Launch (Film & TV Industry Track) – A conversation about the ideas and programs that LFI has placed into action to address the lack of representation in Hollywood and focus on the next generation of content creators, featuring Director of Research and Civic Engagement for the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón; actor-producer and humanitarian Edward James Olmos; Founder & Co-Program Manager of LatinX in Animation Magdiela Hermida Duhamel; and writer and Latino Film Institute executive director Rafael Agustin.
- The Black List Podcast (Film & TV Industry): Co-hosted by Black List founder Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen. Coming soon to LuminaryPodcasts.com.
Click here to register for this year’s SXSW Conference & Festivals.