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News: Producers Guild Awards

Precious to Be Honored with 2010 Stanley Kramer Award

Thursday, November 19, 2009  
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The Producers Guild of America (PGA), a national non-profit trade group committed to protecting the rights and credits of producers in film, television and new media, announced today that PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE will be honored with the 2010 Stanley Kramer Award. The film’s producers will be honored with the award at the 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium.

The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a motion picture, television program, studio, network, producer, executive or other individual entity whose work 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 film director and producer, 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 "Milk,” "The Great Debaters,” "An Inconvenient Truth,” "Good Night, and Good Luck,” "Hotel Rwanda,” "Innocent Voices,” "In America,” "Antwone Fisher” and "I Am Sam.”

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome. Set in Harlem in 1987, the film is the story of Claireece "Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo’Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of "alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.

"‘Precious’ is a remarkable film that sends a powerful message of hope - brilliantly reminding us that we have the power to persevere regardless of life’s difficulties. Stanley Kramer’s legacy is ideally celebrated with the selection of this very worthy film,” said PGA Awards Co-Chairs David Friendly and Laurence Mark.

"Stanley’s films always talked about things we wanted to ignore. He taught us so much about ourselves and made us think about our values and purpose,” said Karen Kramer. "‘Precious’ is truly a film that embraces this philosophy. It tells us quite eloquently that it isn’t what happens to us that defines who we are, but rather what we choose to become.”

"We are thrilled to receive the Stanley Kramer Award and feel honored that the Producers Guild of America has chosen to recognize ‘Precious’ out of this year’s diverse film slate,” shared producers Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness. "It is an honor to join the ranks of past recipients and we feel blessed that the film has been so well received.”

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz and introducing Gabourey Sidibe. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and star Mo’Nique was awarded a Special Jury Prize for Acting. It subsequently screened in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and was a Centerpiece at the 2009 New York Film Festival. In September, PRECIOUS won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, becoming the first film in history to win audience citations at both Sundance and Toronto. The film also received audience prizes at the San Sebastian and Chicago Film Festivals.

Lionsgate in association with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry present A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production of PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE, directed by Lee Daniels from a screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher based on the novel Push by Sapphire. The film is produced by Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, and Gary Magness. Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Lisa Cortés, and Tom Heller are Executive Producers; Simone Sheffield serves as Co-Executive Producer; Mark G. Mathis is Co-Producer; and Asger Hussain serves as Associate Producer.