The SXSW Film Festival and Conference may not be taking place again until next March, but we're already hearing from the fest organizers about who will be there. I mean, I'll be there, but that's not news. Moby will be there? That's news. The musician will be participating in a film conference session called, unsurprisingly, "A Conversation with Moby," in which he'll talk about his movie-related work. He composed the score for the long-awaited Southland Tales, and his music has appeared on the soundtracks of a variety of films, from all three Bourne films to The Salton Sea (a film I especially like) to The Devil Wears Prada. Moby also has started a project to offer some of his music without licensing costs to indie filmmakers, so you can see he'll have plenty to discuss at SXSW.

If you're not into movie soundtracks, you might be interested in the other SXSW speaker who will be at the conference in 2008: documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, who will be discussing the historical aspects of his films. Some of his best-known films include A Place of Our Own, about a resort for African-Americans at Martha's Vineyard, which played at Sundance in 2004, and most recently Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple, which has been nominated for an Emmy this year after being broadcast as part of The American Experience series on PBS. A previous doc of Nelson's that aired on The American Experience, The Murder of Emmett Till, won an Emmy in 2004. No word yet on whether any of Nelson's films will screen at the festival, but I would be surprised if we didn't see one or two. SXSW will take place March 8-15, 2008, in Austin, Texas.

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival is happy to announce the first batch of confirmed speakers for the 2008 event, to be held March 7-15 in Austin, TX . The first two confirmed speakers are composer/musician/producer Moby and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson.


Moby will participate in a session entitled "A Conversation with Moby," hosted and moderated by Doreen Ringer-Ross of BMI. The session, scheduled for Tuesday, March 11, will take a look at the musician's relationship with cinema, from composing original scores (Southland Tales) to contributing and licensing his music for film and TV projects (The Bourne Ultimatum, Heat). In addition, it will include a look at "moby gratis," the musician's new endeavor to offer some of his music, free-of-charge, to independent filmmakers.

Documentarian Stanley Nelson, one of the most prolific nonfiction filmmakers working today, will take part in a discussion of his work and his process. The acclaimed filmmaker (Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) will showcase samples from his award-winning career. Nelson's career includes a bevy of lauded historical documentaries, and he will share how he's achieved such an impressive body of work. Nelson will also dissect the way he approaches historical documentaries with a fresh and inventive sensibility. From the gripping portrait, The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, to the popular music doc, Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice, Nelson's filmography speaks for itself as a glimpse into the sometimes-overlooked aspects of American history.

SXSW has also announced the creation of "Global Doc Days," an initiative formed to create a brighter spotlight on documentary films produced around the world. International film organizations are invited to showcase some of their latest in nonfiction filmmaking. Each participating nation will have an afternoon slot at a SXSW theater, to offer audiences a chance to sample documentary programming from international artists. For SXSW 2008, the festival has been in talks with a handful of international organizations, with sights set on expanding "Global Doc Days" in coming years.