The Producers Guild of America announced today the honorees for the inaugural Digital V.I.P. initiative and awards gala. Nine Visionaries, Innovators, and Producers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling during the past year will be honored on April 11 in Los Angeles.

Honorees for the first-ever Digital V.I.P. are:

VISIONARIES – those who have brought forth new ideas about the creative application of technology to advance storytelling across all media.

Ø John Raatz (Founder, Board Chairman, CEO), Eckhart Tolle (Honorary Founder) and Jim Carrey (Honorary Founder) of The Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE)
Ø Bruce Sterling, multi award-winning science fiction author for his influence upon technology as it relates to storytelling and in co-founding the cyberpunk movement

INNOVATORS – those who have developed new methods or technology that enables the production of storytelling.

Ø Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Co-Founders of Instagram
Ø Bill Westenhofer, Academy Award-winning VFX supervisor for Rhythm & Hues Studios for LIFE OF PI
Ø Philip Atwell and Dylan Brown of Digital Domain for Virtual 2Pac

PRODUCERS – those who have created content whose reach, execution, and influence has advanced the audience experience.

Ø Disney Imagineering team and developers for Disney’s Cars Land
Ø Louis C.K., Emmy Award-winning stand-up comedian, writer, director, actor, and producer for his show “Louie” and re-engineering the role of artist in entertainment distribution
Ø Ben Donovan (President & Co-Founder), Danny Zappin (CEO & Co-Founder) and Lisa Donovan (GM & Co-Founder) of Maker Studios for pioneering the online multichannel network
Ø Conan O’Brien, Emmy Award-winning television host and comedian for the “Team Coco” digital experience

Mark Gordon, President of the PGA said, “Congratulations to this outstanding group of honorees. These visionaries, innovators, and producers are leading change and creativity at the intersection of entertainment and technology. 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.”

Membership in the Producers Guild was not a requirement for eligibility.

The Producers Guild Digital V.I.P. Committee determined the honorees, in conjunction with Producers Guild of America President Mark Gordon and a distinguished list of Industry Advisory Board members.

Digital V.I.P. Committee members include: Co-Chairs Shawn Gold, Marc Scarpa and Chris Thomes (Producers Guild National Board, Vice President of the Producers Guild New Media Council), Laura Allen (New Media Council), Dina Benadon (Producers Guild National Board, New Media Council), Bruce Cohen (Producers Guild National Board, Producers Council), Jeffrey Lerner (Associate Producers Council), Michael Palmieri (New Media Council) and Christina Lee Storm (Producers Guild National Board and Vice Chair of Associate Producers Council).

Advisory Board members include: Jason Calacanis, Sharon Calahan, Mark Cuban, Illeana Douglas, Dick Glover, Quincy Jones III, John Rubey and Chris Williams, among others.

Digital V.I.P. honorees will also be featured as part of the Producers Guild Digital V.I.P. Speaker Series at the Soho House in Los Angeles beginning in June, 2013.

For more information, please visit or email To become a sponsor, please contact Diane Salerno at 310.440.7804 or

About the Producers Guild of America
The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The Producers Guild has more than 5,300 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by providing members with employment opportunities, seeking to expand health benefits, promoting fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts such as encouraging sustainable production practices. Visit,, and for more information.

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