DEG Presents First “Hedy Lamarr Award” to Geena Davis

DEG Presents First “Hedy Lamarr Award” to Geena Davis

LOS ANGELES (June 14, 2017): DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group is pleased to announce it will present its first “Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology” to Academy Award winning actor and advocate Geena Davis, Founder and Chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.  DEG created the Innovation Award to recognize female executives in the fields of entertainment and technology who have made a significant contribution to the industry.

DEG also will present the “Hedy Lamarr Achievement Award for Emerging Leaders in Entertainment Technology,” which recognizes female college students in their junior year whose studies in the fields of entertainment and technology have shown exceptional promise.  The Emerging Leader award will be presented to Johanna Baumann of the University of Michigan.  In consideration of the extremely high caliber of the student nominee pool, two finalists also will be recognized: Carolyn DiLoreto of the University of Southern California and Cherylynn Lima of Smith College. To honor Lamarr, and to encourage and enable these highly motivated students to pursue opportunities in entertainment technology, all three will receive college scholarships.

Hedy Lamarr

Geena Davis

The awards will be presented in November 2017, to coincide with the 103rd anniversary of Lamarr’s birth.  The awards are made possible through the generous sponsorship of Vubiquity CEO Darcy Antonellis, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Deluxe, PBS Distribution and Sony Electronics.

“We are proud to present DEG’s first Hedy Lamarr Awards to Geena Davis, who is recognized for her tireless advocacy of gender equality in media nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments, and these inspiring students,” said Amy Jo Smith, President, DEG.  “Each woman epitomizes the innovative spirit of Hedy Lamarr and honors her legacy through her dedication to innovation in entertainment and technology.”

“I’m deeply honored to accept this important award inspired by the brilliance of Hedy Lamarr,” said Davis. “Our motto at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is ‘If she can see it, she can be it,’ and Hedy Lamarr is a wonderful example of the kind of multi-faceted woman we need more stories about. As a Hollywood actress, she was defined primarily by her appearance, but it was her accomplishment as a scientist and inventor that most dramatically impacted the world.”

Austrian-American actress Lamarr was a Hollywood legend who is best known for her roles in many film classics, including Samson and Delilah, The Strange Woman, and Tortilla Flat.  She was also a lifelong inventor whose innovative work included pioneering “frequency hopping,” which became the foundation for spread spectrum technology.  Conceived by Lamarr and composer George Antheil for radio guidance systems and patented in 1942, this highly secure technology resists interference and dropout, and is utilized today for a variety of cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications.

To honor Lamarr, the Innovation Award seeks to recognize and commemorate female industry leaders who have made a similar impact in the field of entertainment technology.

Through her Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Davis is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentage of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media targeting children 11 and under. The Institute is the only research-based organization working within the industry to engage, educate, and influence content creators and audiences about the importance of eliminating unconscious bias, highlighting gender balance, challenging stereotypes, creating role models and scripting a wide variety of strong female characters in entertainment and media.  Last Fall, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media revolutionized the field of gender in media research with the groundbreaking launch of its machine learning research tool, the GD-IQ (Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient), in partnership with Google and developed by the SAIL laboratory at USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The GD-IQ is able to measure screen and speaking time through the use of this software which enables researches to uncover unconscious gender bias. Before the GD-IQ, this data could only be collected manually.

Davis also launched and serves as Co-Founder and Chair of the Bentonville Film Festival, which provides a platform to significantly boost the commercial value of content produced and starring minorities and women.

In addition to Davis, finalists for the Innovation Award were Nonny de la Peña, CEO and Founder, Emblematic Group; Dana Golub, Senior Director, Public Programs, PBS; and Cynthia McKenzie, Chief Information Officer, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.

To determine the award winners, DEG enlisted a distinguished judging panel comprised of a cross-section of leaders representing the entertainment, technology, academic, IT and consumer electronics industries. Among other factors, the judging panel based its decisions on the candidates’ embodiment of the following principles: Innovation, Engagement and Excellence.

About the students:

Johanna Baumann

Johanna Baumann is a Performing Arts Technology major at the University of Michigan, where she has served on the board of the university chapter of the Audio Engineering Society and been involved in numerous research projects. This year, she leads an effort to encourage more women to apply the PAT program and to foster an inclusive environment.

Carolyn DiLoreto is a Media Arts & Practice major at the University of Southern California, where she is a photographer, graphic designer and involved in the operations of student-run TV station Trojan Vision.

Cherylynn Lima is a Studio Art major at Smith College, where she strives to innovate in video games, as a 2D/3D artist, designer and programmer.

Download Press Release

Download Geena Davis Press Kit

The DEG advocates and promotes entertainment platforms, products and distribution channels that support the movie, television, music, consumer electronics and IT industries.

DEG membership is comprised of:  Amazon, Astell&Kern, BBC AMERICA, bitMax, Bluesound, Broad Green Pictures, CenturyLink, Cinedigm Entertainment, Comcast Cable, comScore, DTS, Inc., Deloitte, Deluxe Digital, DirecTV, Dolby Laboratories, DreamWorks Animation, Ericsson, Fandango, Giant Interactive, Giraffic Technologies, GfK Entertainment, Google Play, The Great Courses, HBO Home Entertainment, IMAX, Intel, Irdeto, LG Electronics USA, Lionsgate, MAI, Mediamorph, MGM, Microsoft, MQA, Midnight Oil, MovieLabs, MQA, Music Watch Inc., My Eye Media, Nielsen Entertainment, NPD Group, The Orchard, Outpost Media, Panasonic, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Parrot Analytics, PBS Distribution, Philips Electronics, Pioneer & Onkyo USA, Premiere Digital, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Qobuz, Redbox, Rovi, Samsung Electronics, Screen Engine/ASI, SellThruCo, Sonopress, Sony DADC, Sony Electronics, Sony Music Entertainment, Technicolor, TiVo, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Universal Operations Group, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, V2Solutions, Verizon Digital Media Services, Vubiquity, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Warner Music Group.