What We’re Looking Forward to at SXSW 2021

SXSW has become a keystone festival and conference, and while 2021 will be online-only, there will be countless panels that span the arts, technology, social justice & diversity, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and more. Choose New Jersey will be one of the many attendees, and we’ve been getting ready for the event by checking out the panels that will be from March 16th through March 20th.

Here are five that we’re looking forward to. Want to talk to us during SXSW? Find out how.

Top 5 Events at SXSW 2021

The pandemic, as it has done in many sectors, accelerated the disruption that streaming services have caused within the film industry. Filmmaker Robert Schwartzman leads an event that explores how filmmakers must pivot to ensure they can continue to sell & distribute their work while consistently reaching their viewers, despite now operating in a predominantly digital environment for consumption. 

Did You Know? New Jersey, one of the film industry’s top filming locations, offers a robust film and digital media tax credit program that is perfect for filmmakers working on a budget.

Film commission members from Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee sit down to discuss the role state film commissions play in influencing the creative community within their state. Key talking points will be adjustments that have been needed due to COVID-19, as well as how state film commissions have evolved to influence a broader sphere of creatives within the community.

New Jersey has long been a fixture in the film industry, and its film commission has helped make it one of the premier destinations for film in the U.S. In 2021, updated safety protocols will help New Jersey host production for several major feature films, over a dozen independent movies, and network TV shows such as “The Equalizer,” “Ways and Means,” and “Dr. Death.” The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission can help filmmakers with everything from tax credit assistance, scouting locations for filming, and securing production services within the State.

The digital transformation continues, with tech now playing a major role in how people plan urban development. Between AI, data science, edge computing, and more, speakers from both the tech industry as well as government discuss what cities might look like in the future and how to create greener, inclusive cities. 

New Jersey has seen a surge in flexible workspaces, smart integration into new business headquarters, and a commitment to alternative energy sources, including the largest offshore wind project in the nation. In November, the State announced the first tenants of the Hub, a collaborative site that will help foster innovation and progress for the State.

Bias trickles into everything we do. As the world becomes more interconnected with AI entities, the concept of bias is becoming more relevant than ever to the ethics attached to the technologies. To discuss how to create low-biased, ethical and fair AI, a panel of industry executives, a member of the Department of Defense Joint AI Center, and an equity, gender, and leadership professor discuss. 


New Jersey is home to the most diverse city in the US, Jersey City and is a melting pot of many different ethnic groups, making the impact of AI bias highly relevant within the state. AI development has become a growing sector within the State’s technology industry. In 2019, Google opened its AI lab in Princeton, NJ, while the Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence is collaborating with several entities to help solve pressing global problems. Those include the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Gene therapy has the ability to alter our concept of what is possible medically. Medical and gene therapy industry experts will be discussing the potential of gene therapy now and in the near future, how it may be a solution for millions of sick children, and the communities that are needed to push gene therapy forward. 

Home to breakthroughs such as the first CAR-T cell therapy, no state can match New Jersey’s number of FDA-registered biopharma manufacturing facilities. If you plan to check out the gene therapy panel at SXSW, don’t miss what New Jersey’s cell and gene therapy ecosystem can offer.

Get in Touch With Choose New Jersey at SXSW 21

Choose New Jersey is a non-profit economic development organization that provides complimentary services to businesses starting up, expanding, or relocating to New Jersey. Are you interested in talking to us during SXSW? Sign up to talk with us by visiting our event page. Not going to the event but still want to get in contact? Use the multi-step form below to tell us a little more about your company.

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