LOS ANGELES, CA (January 6, 2011) - The Producers Guild of America (PGA), announced today that Sean Penn will be honored with the 2011 Stanley Kramer Award. The award will be presented to Penn at the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 22nd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a motion picture, producer or other individual, whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion. Kramer, considered within the film industry to have served as "Hollywood's Conscience" during his career as a film producer and director, created some of the most respected and successful works in the annals of American motion pictures. He was the master behind such classics as The Caine Mutiny, High Noon, The Defiant Ones, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Previous recipients of the Kramer award include such films as The Great Debaters, An Inconvenient Truth, Hotel Rwanda, Innocent Voices, In America, Antwone Fisher, and the 2010 winner was PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL 'PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE. Sean Penn is the first individual to receive the Guild's Stanley Kramer Award, and the first recipient of the award in 2002 was the film I AM SAM, which Penn starred in.
"We are proud to honor Sean Penn with this award as he truly exemplifies the Stanley Kramer legacy. Sean is a committed activist who has used his extraordinary talents and influence to shed light on powerful stories, causes and individuals-through film, journalism, and global humanitarian organizations," said Paula Wagner, Chair of the 2011 Producers Guild Awards.
Two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades. Penn has been nominated five times for the Academy Award® as Best Actor for Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, I Am Sam and won his first Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River and his second Oscar® as Best Actor in 2009 for Gus Van Sant's Milk. The performance as gay rights icon Harvey Milk also garnered Penn "Best Actor" awards from The Screen Actors Guild, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Penn has also received Best Actor awards at the Cannes (She's So Lovely) and Berlin (Dead Man Walking) Film Festivals, as well as being a two-time winner of Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival (Hurlyburly, 21 Grams). Penn can currently be seen in Doug Liman's drama Fair Game opposite Naomi Watts and will next be seen in Terrence Malick's drama The Tree of Life opposite Brad Pitt. He recently wrapped production on Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be The Place.
Penn's feature film directorial debut came with 1991's The Indian Runner, which he also wrote and produced. In 1995, he directed The Crossing Guard, which he also wrote and produced. His third film as director/producer was 2001's The Pledge starring Jack Nicholson and was named in the Top Ten Films of 2001 by The National Board of Review. Since then, Penn wrote and directed the United States contribution to the compilation film 11'09'01. This important project gathered 11 acclaimed directors from around the world to create short films in response to the horrific events of September 11, 2001. In 2003 the film was nominated for a French Cesar in the best European Union Film category and received a special recognition award from the National Board of Review. As writer, producer and director, Into the Wild marked Penn's fourth feature film, which opened to rave reviews in September 2007. The film, based on Jon Krakauer's best-selling non-fiction book, premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals and appeared on many lists of the top ten films of 2007.
Penn has appeared on stage in productions including Alfred Hayes' "Girl on the Via Flaminia" and Albert Innaurato's "Earthworms In Los Angeles." On Broadway, Penn performed in Kevin Heelan's "Heartland" and John Byrne's "Slab Boys." He appeared in David Rabe's "Hurlyburly," at the Westwood Playhouse, and "Goose and Tom Tom," at Lincoln Center, both productions directed by the author. Most recently, Penn starred opposite Nick Nolte and Woody Harrelson in "The Late Henry Moss," written and directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sam Shepard.
In 2002, Sean Penn was presented with the Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and in 2003, became the youngest recipient to ever receive the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Sebastian Film Festival. In 2004, he was honored with the John Steinbeck Award for outspoken torch-bearers in the creative arts. In 2008, Penn received the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting, after being presented in 2007 with the Director of the Year Award for Into the Wild from the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Penn served as President of the jury for the 2008 Cannes International Film Festival and later that year was named a Knight in the French Legion of Honor.
As a journalist, Penn has written for Time, Interview, Rolling Stone and The Nation magazines. In 2004, Penn wrote a two-part feature in The San Francisco Chronicle after a second visit to the war-torn Iraq. In 2005, he wrote a five-part feature in the same paper reporting from Iran during the election which led to the Ahmadinejad regime. Penn's landmark interviews with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and Cuba's President Raul Castro, were published in The Nation and The Huffington Post. Penn's interview with President Castro was the first-ever interview with an international journalist.
Penn's humanitarian work has found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization which focuses on medical aid, protection, and re-location. His organization is currently serving as UN IOM designated Camp Management for the largest IDP camp in Port-au-Prince and established the first emergency re-location in the country. For his efforts, Penn received the Commander's Award for Service (US Army 82nd Airborne Division), 82nd Airborne Award for Meritorious Service, the Operation Unified Response JTF Haiti Certificate from Lieutenant General, US Army Commander P.K. Keen, along with the 1st Recon 73rd Division Coin of Excellence, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Coin of Excellence, Commendation of Excellence United States Southern Command, and Award of Excellence by the Deputy Commander US Southern Command. Earlier this year, Penn was honored with the "Children's and Families Global Development Fund Humanitarian Award" presented by the Ambassador of the Republic of Haiti, Raymond A. Joseph and his wife, Lola Poisson-Joseph. Additionally, in July 2010 Penn was knighted by Haitian President Rene Preval in a ceremony in Port-Au-Prince and in October 2010 Penn received the Hollywood Humanitarian Award from the Hollywood Film Festival.