DEG Announces Finalists for “Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology”

DEG Announces Finalists for “Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology”

NEW YORK (April 23, 2017): DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group is pleased to announce four finalists for its first “Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology,” which recognizes female executives in the fields of entertainment and technology who have made a significant contribution to the industry. Finalists for the inaugural Hedy Lamarr Award are Geena Davis, Founder and Chair, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; 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. The announcement was made at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, in conjunction with a screening of the feature-length documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.

“We are delighted to recognize such accomplished and inspiring women,” said Amy Jo Smith, President, DEG. “Each of them perfectly represents the innovative spirit of Hedy Lamarr and honors her legacy through pioneering achievements in entertainment and technology.”

The winner of the Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology will be announced in May. At that time, DEG also will announce the winner of the “Hedy Lamarr Achievement Award for Emerging Leaders in Entertainment Technology,” which recognizes female college students in their junior year who have shown exceptional promise in the field. Both 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), PBS Distribution and Sony Electronics.

Austrian-American actress Lamarr was a Hollywood legend who is best known for her roles in a number of 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.

Academy Award winner Davis is the Founder and Chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which 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.

Immersive journalism pioneer de la Peña has been called “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Engadget and The Guardian. As CEO of Emblematic Group, her digital reality media company, she uses cutting edge technologies to tell stories—including Hunger in Los Angeles and Project Syria—that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers.

As the Senior Director of Public Programs for PBS, Golub serves as the Executive Director of the PBS WARN program. In this capacity, she has led PBS in the innovative effort to leverage the television broadcast environment and PBS’s national footprint to enhance the overall reliability of the national Wireless Emergency Alert System.

McKenzie is Chief Information Officer of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group. A 20-year technology veteran with long tenures at several studios, she has pioneered SaaS, shared services and digital fingerprinting initiatives that set standards both inside and in service of major studios and entertainment entities.

To determine the award winners, DEG has 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 will base its decisions on the candidates’ embodiment of the following principles: Innovation, Engagement and Excellence.

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The DEG advocates and promotes entertainment platforms, products and distribution channels which 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.