PGA to honor producers who’ve advanced digital

Visionary awards to be presented in 3 categories on April 11

The Producers Guild of America is launching a Digital VIP initiative and awards gala aimed at honoring a dozen producers who have made “significant” contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling.

The guild will present kudos in a trio of categories on April 11. The PGA will also launch a speaker series featuring honorees at the Soho House in Los Angeles beginning in June.

Visionary awards go to three execs from the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment — founder and chairman John Raatz along with honorary founders Eckhart Tolle and Jim Carrey — along with sci-fi author Bruce Sterling.

Innovator awards go to Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram; Bill Westenhofer, vfx supervisor for Rhythm & Hues Studios on “Life of Pi”; and Ed Ulbrich (CEO of Digital Domain), Philip Atwell (Geronimo Productions), Dylan Brown (The Yard Entertainment) and Dr. Dre for Virtual 2Pac.

Producers award will be given to the Disney Imagineering team and developers for Disney’s Cars Land at California Adventure; Louis C.K., writer, director, actor and producer of FX’s “Louie,” for “re-engineering the role of artist in entertainment distribution”; Maker Studios co-founders Ben Donovan (president), Danny Zappin (CEO) and Lisa Donovan (general manager) for pioneering the online multichannel network; and Conan O’Brien for the “Team Coco” digital experience.

“These visionaries, innovators and producers are leading change and creativity at the intersection of entertainment and technology,” said PGA president Mark Gordon. “We at the Producers Guild are pleased to acknowledge their contributions to our rapidly evolving digital industry, and we look forward to celebrating with them in the spring.”

The honorees were selected by the PGA’s Digital VIP committee with Gordon and an industry advisory board. Committee members include Shawn Gold, Marc Scarpa, Chris Thomes, Laura Allen, Dina Benadon, Bruce Cohen, Jeffrey Lerner, Michael Palmieri and Christina Lee Storm; advisory board members include Jason Calacanis, Sharon Calahan, Mark Cuban, Illeana Douglas, Dick Glover, Quincy Jones III, John Rubey and Chris Williams.

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