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'Social issue' award for Sean Penn

Sean Penn is to receive an award from Hollywood producers honouring his efforts to explore social issues.

The Producers Guild of America will give its Stanley Kramer Award to the actor and filmmaker at the group's awards ceremony on January 22.

The award is named after filmmaker Kramer, whose issue-oriented productions include Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and The Defiant Ones.

Sean is the first individual to receive the Kramer Award. In the past, the award has been handed out for socially minded films such as An Inconvenient Truth, Hotel Rwanda and Sean's own I Am Sam.

Paula Wagner, chair of the Producers Guild Awards, said Sean is a committed activist who has "shed light on powerful stories, causes and individuals."

© Press Association