The MPAA certainly gave the documentary Bully a hard time with its rating, but the Producers Guild of America is showing the anti-bullying documentary some love: It has awarded the film its Stanley Kramer Award, bestowed on a film which raises public awareness on an important issue. The film, which initially received an R rating until filmmakers cut a few cuss words to get the PG-13, is shortlisted for Best Documentary in the Oscar race. This comes months after The Weinstein Company‘s Harvey and Bob Weinstein were selected to receive the PGA’s Milestone Award, which will be presented at the same event January 26. Here is the PGA’s official announcement:
LOS ANGELES, CA (December 18, 2012) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA), announced today that critically acclaimed documentary feature BULLY will be honored with the 2013 Stanley Kramer Award at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony. Director Lee Hirsch and producer Cynthia Lowen will accept the award on Saturday, January 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a production, producer or other individual whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues. Stanley Kramer created some of the most powerful and acclaimed works in the history of American motion pictures, including such classics as INHERIT THE WIND, ON THE BEACH, THE DEFIANT ONES, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER.
Previous recipients of the Stanley Kramer Award include such films as THE GREAT DEBATERS, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, HOTEL RWANDA, IN AMERICA, ANTWONE FISHER, PRECIOUS and the 2012 honoree IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY.
“BULLY is a powerful and inspiring film that brought much-needed attention to an issue that just about everyone can relate to at one point or another in their life,” said 2013 PGA Awards Chair Michael De Luca. “The social action campaign for BULLY raised significant funding that allowed for over 250,000 students nationwide to take field trips within an educational framework to see the film. BULLY sparked a movement, sparked a shift in consciousness and rallied people of all ages to stand up against intolerance and hate. It’s a film that I believe Stanley Kramer himself would applaud and we’re thrilled to recognize it with this honor.”
Lee Hirsch said, “Receiving this award is a tremendous honor! Stanley Kramer’s films have left an indelible impact on our society and illuminate the extraordinary power of film to catalyze and compel action. I am incredibly thankful on behalf of our entire team, to the PGA for recognizing our work. I am deeply humbled.”
Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. The documentary film BULLY, directed by Sundance and Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families. BULLY is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are individuals and families with huge stakes in this issue, each of whose stories represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy “kids will be kids” clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.
The Weinstein Company presents BULLY, directed by Lee Hirsch, produced by Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen and executive produced by Cindy Waitt.