Geena Davis Among Finalists for DEG's Hedy Lamarr Award24 Apr, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Oscar winner Geena Davis (The Accidental Tourist) is among four finalists announced by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group for its first Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology.
Other nominees disclosed April 23 at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival included Nonny de la Peña, CEO and founder of Emblematic Group; Dana Golub, senior director of public programs for PBS; and Cynthia McKenzie, chief information officer for Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.
Davis is founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which lobbies movie and TV content creators to increase the percentage of female characters and reduce gender stereotyping in media targeting children 11 and younger.
De la Peña, who has been called "The Godmother of Virtual Reality," uses cutting-edge technologies to tell stories, including docs “Hunger in Los Angeles” and “Project Syria,” that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers.
Golub leverages the television broadcast environment and PBS's national footprint to enhance the overall reliability of the national wireless emergency alert system.
McKenzie pioneered SaaS, a shared services and digital fingerprinting initiative that sets standards both inside and in service of major studios and entertainment entities.
“We are delighted to recognize such accomplished and inspiring women,” Amy Jo Smith, president of DEG, said in a statement. “Each perfectly represents the innovative spirit of Hedy Lamarr and honors her legacy through pioneering achievements in entertainment and technology.”
Austrian-born Lamarr, who died in 2000 at the age of 86, was a Hollywood legend best known for film classics Samson and Delilah, The Strange Woman and Tortilla Flat, among others.
Lamarr, who infamously dismissed her good looks (“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid”), preferred instead to pursue inventive ideas such as "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 still used today for a variety of cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications.
The winner will be announced in May and presented in November to coincide with the 103rd anniversary of Lamarr’s birth. The DEG in May will also 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.
The awards are sponsored in part by Vubiquity CEO Darcy Antonellis, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), PBS Distribution and Sony Electronics.