Black Mirror Creator Charlie Brooker joins SXSW Sydney 2023 as Keynote Speaker

September 14, 2023

Does he have a crystal ball? Or is he a time traveller from the future… That’s exactly what people think of Charlie Brooker when watching Black Mirror. This seemingly realistic, and in some ways predictive, picture of humanity’s worst traits, greatest innovations and darkest future took the world by storm when it debuted on Netflix.

We’re thrilled to announce that the man himself will be joining us as a Keynote Speaker at SXSW Sydney 2023 this October.

Appearing next previously announced speakers including GRAMMY Award winner Chance The Rapper, Coachella festival CEO Paul Tollett,  Slack Co-Founder Cal Henderson, futurist and AI expert Amy Webb, Brooker joins a stacked program of over 1,000 ground-breaking events and sessions on Tech and Innovation, Screen, Music, Games and Culture as Sydney becomes the go-to place for creative industries worldwide.

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. 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.” says Brooker.

Managing Director of SXSW Sydney, Colin Daniels explains: “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.”

Next month, Sydney’s definition as a beautiful harbour city will be eclipsed as it becomes a hotbed for all things creative, becoming a leading city for nurturing the arts, innovation and tech during SXSW Sydney week. Brooker will be one of the many visionary speakers that come down-under to enrich curious minds.

Who else can I expect to hear from at SXSW Sydney 2023?

We thought you’d never ask! Beyond the brains behind Black Mirror,  there are over 700 world-leading speakers and industry leaders already announced including 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, artistic director Wesley Enoch, Expedia CTO Rathi Murthy and many more.  

They make up over 300 panels and sessions designed to keep you in the forefront of our ever changing world, with topics like Brain-computer interfaces, the future of lab-grown meat, First Nations knowledge in design, ethical living with robots, AI fluency, Big Tech transparency, re-imagining news media, how recruitment will become more like online dating, venture capital in 2050, when music videos meet AI, the future of love and more. 

What will the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival offer?

In connection with recently announced Official Major Sponsor Telstra, we’ll host the first ever SXSW Sydney Film Festival, set to showcase emerging voices and talent converging to celebrate the silver screen.
From red carpet premieres at the ICC’s Darling Theatre, to an XR showcase, conference sessions, parties and meet-ups, the Film Festival truly goes beyond the cinema For the business minded, head to the ‘Minimart’, a SXSW Sydney-flavoured Screen market for investors, buyers, producers and creatives.

What to watch? Films include: Opening Night Film (and AUS Premiere) of Aussie Outback thriller The Royal Hotel, Anita (US), about Rolling Stones Muse Anita Pallenberg; Jamojaya (US), Indonesian rap star Brian Imanuel (Rich Brian) stars as an up-and-coming musician; The Last Year of Darkness (US/CN) Bass-heavy and neon-coloured portrait of alternative Chinese youth. Check out what’s been announced so far here.

Finally, the festival will feature the world premiere of the Wiggles documentary, Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles.

To keep the party going, SXSWSydney will feature 300 artist performances, including names from the 100 acts already announced.

The line-up of the best new faces from around the world features TikTok stars Flyana Boss, Indonesian triple threat Isyana Sarasvati, Japanese punks Otoboke Beaver, rising Blak hip-hop powerhouse Miss Kannina and NZ’s genre-bending Will Swinton. See the line-up of artists set to grace the SXSW Sydney stages so far here.

Accessing SXSW Sydney – the 101 on Badges and Wristbands

Badges are your master key for SXSW Sydney – they open the doors to all activity across the week-long event, from its Conference and Tech & Innovation Expo to its Music, Screen and Games Festivals. As he is a conference speaker, it is only possible to see Charlie Brooker with a badge.  

Wristbands give access to SXSW Sydney’s Music, Screen or Games festivals, for performances, screenings and showcases.  

  • Music Festival: 300 performances in 25 venues over 4 days and nights.  
  • Screen Festival: unlimited screenings over one week.
  • Games Festival: 150 new indie games and parties over 6 nights. 

Click here to discover the right level of access for you.

Changes to the conference line-up

Due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts, Tan France will no longer be able to attend SXSW Sydney 2023.