'Debaters' nabs Kramer Award


Denzel Washington's "The Great Debaters" will be honored with the Stanley Kramer Award, given annually to recognize films involving "provocative social issues."

A Weinstein Co. film set for release on Christmas Day by MGM, "Debaters" is based on a true story about a debating team from a black college in the Jim Crow South that received a landmark invitation to take on Harvard's championship team. Washington helmed the drama, which he also toplines.

The film's producers include Todd Black, Kate Forte, Oprah Winfrey and Joe Roth. They will accept the award on behalf of the production at the 19th annual PGA Awards, set for Feb. 2 at the Beverly Hilton.

" 'The Great Debaters' is the embodiment of everything Stanley Kramer stood for in the films he made," PGA Awards co-chairs Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon said. "We are very proud to present this award to the filmmakers that brought this movie to the big screen."

Said Washington: "The Stanley Kramer Award has recognized such important films in the past, (and) I am thrilled to be in their company. 'The Great Debaters' was a film that truly comes from my heart, and it means a lot to me that it was recognized in this way."

Among previous recipients of the award were last year's "An Inconvenient Truth" and 2006's "Good Night, and Good Luck."