Winfrey, other producers of ‘The Great Debaters’ to receive Producers Guild of America award

Published 4:38 pm Friday, December 14, 2007

Oprah Winfrey and other producers behind the Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker film “The Great Debaters” will receive an award from the Producers Guild of America for illuminating provocative social issues.

The film’s producers will receive the 2008 Stanley Kramer Award at the PGA Awards on Feb. 2 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the guild announced Wednesday. Among those who produced the film are Todd Black, Kate Forte, Joe Roth and Winfrey.

“Oprah and I are very proud of this film and honored to receive the PGA’s Stanley Kramer Award,” Forte said. “’The Great Debaters’ has been a labor of love and we are grateful to be recognized in this way.”

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The movie chronicles the journey of Professor Melvin Tolson, a debate team coach who helped shape a group of students from a small African American college into an elite debate team. Tolson challenged social mores and was criticized for his teaching methods as well as his political views.

Previous recipients of the Stanley Kramer Award include “Hotel Rwanda,” “An Inconvenient Truth” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Antoine Fisher” and “I Am Sam.”