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‘Loving’ to Receive Producers Guild’s Stanley Kramer Award

Variety logo Variety 12/8/2016 Dave McNary
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Historical drama “Loving,” starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, will receive the Producers Guild of America’s 2017 Stanley Kramer Award.

Ged Doherty, Colin Firth, Sarah Green, Nancy Buirski, and Marc Turtletaub produced the film. The Focus Features release, based on the aftermath of the 1958 marriage between Richard and Mildred Loving, is written and directed by Jeff Nichols.

The Stanley Kramer Award will be presented at the 28th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Jan. 28 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a production, producer, or other individuals whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues. Kramer’s credits include “Inherit the Wind,” “On the Beach,” “The Defiant Ones,” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

The PGA noted that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights decision (Loving v. Virginia) invalidating laws prohibiting interracial marriage, nine years after the Lovings were jailed for their interracial marriage.

“It has never been more important than right now to recognize our shared humanity and the quietly unshakable bond between Richard and Mildred Loving, who — just like Stanley Kramer’s classic characters — stood as the ultimate rebuke to a culture intent on dividing us,” said Producers Guild Awards chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal. “‘Loving’ is a film that’s unthinkable without the path that Stanley Kramer blazed, and one the great filmmaker would be proud to recognize as part of his legacy.”

Next year also marks the 50th anniversary of the theatrical release of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a box office hit about the then-controversial issue of interracial marriage. The film starred Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn, and was released six months after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Stanley had a vision for social justice,” said the late filmmaker’s widow, Karen Kramer. “He was committed to telling stories to create change. His movies changed the culture, and sometimes even helped change the laws.”

The Stanley Kramer Award is determined by a seven-person committee appointed by the PGA’s board and operates independently of the awards committee and PGA staff. Previous recipients of the Stanley Kramer Award include “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Antwone Fisher,” “Precious,” “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” “Fruitvale Station,” and the 2016 honoree “The Hunting Ground.”

Focus Features’ “Milk” also received the Stanley Kramer Award in 2009.

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