The Producers Guild of America (PGA) just announced that two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn will be honored with the 2011 Stanley Kramer Award. This prestigious honor will be presented to Penn at the 22nd annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony, which will take place on January 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a motion picture, or individual, whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion. Director-producer Kramer, known for his socially conscious work, was the master behind such classics as The Defiant Ones, On the Beach, Judgment at Nuremberg and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Previous recipients of the Kramer award include Precious, The Great Debaters, An Inconvenient Truth and Hotel Rwanda. Penn is, in fact, the first individual to receive the Kramer Award. Coincidentally, the first recipient of the honor (in 2002) was I Am Sam, in which Penn starred.

Penn is renowned as one of the best actors of his generation. In addition to Best Actor awards at the Cannes (She’s So Lovely) and Berlin (Dead Man Walking) film festivals, Penn has won Oscars for Mystic River and Milk. He has also worked as a writer-producer-director on such acclaimed films as Into the Wild and The Indian Runner, and is known for his humanitarian work, including the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which Penn co-founded in 2010. He will next be seen on the big-screen in Terence Malick’s highly-anticipated The Tree of Life, which hits theaters in May.

“We are proud to honor Sean Penn with this award as he truly exemplifies the Stanley Kramer legacy,” says Paula Wagner, Chair of the 2011 Producers Guild Awards. “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.”

For more information, please visit