San Francisco (June 18, 2001) - Turning up the star power, The 5th Annual Webby Awards® today unveiled a diverse list of celebrities, technology luminaries and cutting-edge talents taking part in this year's awards.

For the second straight year, Tony-award winning actor Alan Cumming will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the award show, which will take place on July 18th at San Francisco's spectacular War Memorial Opera House. Cumming, currently starring in the acclaimed film, The Anniversary Party, will also be responsible for holding winners to the Webbys' trademark five-word speech limit.

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which oversees the awards, revealed a preliminary list of other high-profile Webby contributors, including Oscar®-winning actress Susan Sarandon and platinum-selling musician Beck who will both serve as a judges for this year's awards, in addition to the Academy's 350 other members.

Fans around the globe will be able to tune into the entire event through a live Webcast on (, which will kick-off at 7:00 PM PDT with a pre-show hosted by veteran newsman Sam Donaldson in San Francisco. Donaldson, the host of and ABC News' This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts, will also present an award during the ceremony.

"Part of the thrill of The Webby Awards is that you never know who may show up, and this year's participants represent some of the most creative and talented individuals in their fields," said Tiffany Shlain, the founder and director of The Webby Awards. "We're looking forward to the most unpredictable and spirited Webby Awards show yet."

According to Shlain, the Webby Awards ceremony, whose lead sponsor is Adobe, will once again bring together behind-the-screen tech luminaries and creative talents from all artistic media. Among the cast of presenters is Vint Cerf, widely known as one of the inventors of Internet, who will present a special Webby award.

In keeping with the Webbys' passion for recognizing fresh talent, show organizers have tapped the hot band Grandaddy, dubbed the "first major new talent of this century" by, to perform live at the post-ceremony bash, which is sponsored by Intel. DJ Polywog, known for her contributions to last year's Sundance-favorite Groove, will create additional musical entertainment. Elias Arts, which has won 3 Clio Awards, will provide sound design, and Marc Capelle will serve as the show's live musical director. Shlain added that this year's gala will also include breathtaking performances by San Francisco's Capacitor Dance Troop and an original art installation by the Vainglorious collective.

Show attendees will also be treated to more than 18 original short films and animation created exclusively for the Webbys by award-winning filmmakers. Among the films debuting at the Webbys is And The Webby Goes to Animation, created by Aardman Animation, the acclaimed creators of Wallis and Gromit and Chicken Run. Talent Services provided by Weisman Worldwide Entertainment.

Hailed as "Better than the Oscars" by Vanity Fair and "The Hot Ticket" by Entertainment Weekly, The Webby Awards are the leading international honors for Web sites and individual achievement in creativity and technology.

Winners will be announced at The 2001 Webby Awards 2000 on July 18, 2001 at at San Francisco's elegant War Memorial Opera House. The entire event will be Webcast at beginning at 8:00 PM PST.

More than 3,000 digital dignitaries and wired celebs will attend The Webbys, which has become a major international event thanks to its critically acclaimed production, outrageous fashions, five-words-or-less speech limit, and celebrity judges. Past judges have included David Bowie, Tina Brown, Matt Groening, and Larry Ellison. The awards are presented by the Academy, a 350-member organization dedicated to the creative, professional, and technical advancement of new media.

Due to popular demand, a limited number of seats for the invitation-only event have been reserved for the public for the first time. Seats will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. For information on purchasing tickets, write to