Chris Meledandri To Receive 2014 Visionary Award At Producers Guild Awards
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that Chris Meledandri, Founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, will receive the 2014 Visionary Award. The award will be presented to Meledandri at the 25th Anniversary Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 19, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Producers Guild Visionary Award recognizes a television, film or new media producer for his or her unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance.
Meledandri is being recognized with the Visionary Award as one of the definitive producers of contemporary animation. He receives this award just as the latest blockbuster hit that he has produced, Universal and Illumination’s DESPICABLE ME 2, becomes the 5th highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide at the global box office.
“I have spent my career working alongside brilliant, passionate filmmakers to tell the types of stories that move audiences, and to receive recognition for this from the peers whose work I deeply admire makes this award all that more meaningful,” said Meledandri.
Previous honorees include producer, entrepreneur and humanitarian Russell Simmons, for his dedication to philanthropy and work as a film and television producer; producer Laura Ziskin, for her commitment to storytelling and her efforts organizing the 2008 and 2009 Stand Up To Cancer campaign and television specials; Jeff Skoll, for his work with Participant Media in creating films that inspire social action; and Joel Gallen, who produced the landmark post-9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes.”
Meledandri is currently in production on MINIONS, an original animated film starring Oscar® winner Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm that will be released on July 10, 2015, as well as an untitled project that will be released on February 12, 2016.
Meledandri was previously an executive at 20th Century Fox for 13 years. While there, he became founding president of 20th Century Fox Animation, which he headed for eight years, amassing more than $2 billion in global box office revenue.
During his tenure, he helped 20th Century Fox become a major player in the world of animated feature films and in 1998, he led 20th Century Fox’s acquisition of fledgling visual effects/commercial house Blue Sky Studios, which he built into a successful producer of animated features. He oversaw the creative and business operations of Blue Sky Studios, now 20th Century Fox’s wholly owned CGI studio. While at the studio, Meledandri supervised and/or executive produced movies including ICE AGE, ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN, ROBOTS, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, THE SIMPSONS MOVIE and DR. SEUSS’ HORTON HEARS A WHO!.