Director Lee Daniels attends the special event for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted by Brett Ratner and David Raymond at a Private Residence on August 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Director Lee Daniels attends the special event for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted by Brett Ratner and David Raymond at a Private Residence on August 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

*The folks at Austin’s South by Southwest announced today (Sept. 6) that film director and “Empire” creator Lee Daniels will serve as the film keynote speaker for its 2017 run.

Also announced as featured speakers are Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science president Cheryl Boone Isaacs; Ford Motor Company executive chairman Bill Ford; entrepreneur Kimbal Musk; renowned music supervisor Randall Poster; and celebrity cook (and SXSW staple) Rachael Ray, reports Billboard.

Daniels, whose big-screen work includes the critically-acclaimed “Precious” and “The Butler,” has been equally successful on the small screen with Fox’s mega-hit “Empire.” His new TV drama, “Star,” will premiere on Fox in early 2017.

SXSW 2017 is being held March 10-19. The first registration deadline is Sept. 9 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

The featured session, “Product Mavericks: Top Tips from Women Who Build,” will include panelists Merci Grace, who leads the Growth team at Slack; Stephanie Hannon, CTO of Hillary for America; Tali Rapaport, VP of product at Lyft; and Fidji Simo, director of Product at Facebook.