Director Emeritus, SXSW Film & TV
For fifteen years, from April 2008 to Oct 2022, Janet Pierson was responsible for the vision, programming, and execution of the SXSW Film Festival (now SXSW Film & TV Festival) and the film and episodic focused content within the SXSW Conference. As of October 2022, she transitioned to Director Emeritus for SXSW, with a strong involvement in programming and mentorship while she continues to champion and support emerging and established filmmakers. Before joining SXSW for the 2009 event, Janet spent over 30 years championing independent films and filmmakers in a variety of roles including exhibitor, producer's rep, financier, co-creator + executive producer, + segment director of the IFC cable TV series Split Screen, now available on the Criterion Channel. She appears in Steve James's Documentary, Reel Paradise, and Andrew Bujalski's Beeswax. She loved curating In The Dark: Filmmakers Illuminate, Stories from the Film World for The Moth in 2001.
Pierson made The Guardian's Film Power 100 list in 2010 and 2013's Indiewire Influencers. She regularly serves on panels and juries for other festivals and agencies including the NEA, ITVS, BFI, and Creative Capital. She is a member of the Austin Film Society Advisory Board and UT Press Advisory Board.