September 27, 2011 -
Sean Penn aided release of US hikers
Oscar winner asked Venezuelan
president Hugo Chávez to negotiate freedom for pair held in Iran
on espionage charges.
Oscar-winner Sean Penn was involved in the release of the two
American hikers held in Iran on espionage charges, according to
Penn flew to
Venezuela in the hope of convincing President Hugo Chávez to
approach Tehran. Chávez is close to Iranian leader Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, while Penn has met the Venezuelan president on a
number of occasions. Venezuela's deputy foreign minister, Temir
Porras, told Reuters last week that an "American intellectual"
had spoken to Chávez about the case of Joshua Fattal and Shane
who were freed on Wednesday after
two years in custody.
Penn's spokesman later confirmed that the intellectual in
question was the star, who won Oscars for
A source told Reuters: "Penn
was very committed to the case … He flew to Caracas several
months ago to raise it with Chávez and he kept on it."
Fattal and Bauer were arrested
in July 2009 on the border with Iraq, where they said they had
Penn is well known for his
political activism and has spent time in both Venezuela and Cuba
visiting Chávez and Raúl Castro. He was a fierce critic of
George W Bush during the latter's time in office. He made a
visit to Iran just before the 2005 presidential election as a
journalist on an assignment for the San Francisco Chronicle.
August 28, 2011 - Zurich
Film Festival Picks Sean Penn for Goldon Icon Award
month, Sean Penn will be honored with the Zurich Film Festival’s Golden Icon
Given in recognition of Penn’s acting achievements, the festival
representatives also identify Penn’s directing work, as well as his
journalistic and humanitarian efforts.
The celebration will take place toward the middle of the festival, on
September 28, with festivities that including a screening of his 2007 film
“Into the Wild” as well as a compilation of highlights from his acting
Penn will be the fourth recipient of the Golden Icon award, following
previous winners Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Sylvester Stallone.
“This Must Be the Place,” featuring Penn’s next starring effort,
premiered at Cannes and is slated for release at the end of 2011.
The Zurich Film Festival runs from September 22 - October 2.
July 23, 2011 -
Sean Penn writes on J/P HRO Facebook
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Eighteen months ago - in a mere 35-second span - Haiti suffered
catastrophic devastation. In the wake of the January 2010
earthquake, nearly 300,000 lives were lost, tight-knit communities
were destroyed, and spirits crumbled as quickly as thousands of
Since then, thanks in large part to donors and supporters like
you, J/P HRO has been able to make great strides on behalf of the
Haitian people -- managing Internally Displaced Persons camps
housing more than 50,000 individuals, providing emergency medical
and primary care services, coordinating community center activities,
and running a primary school.
But the most important progress is yet to come: J/P HRO is
leading the effort to build a more sustainable future for Haiti's
people, addressing the longer-term recovery needs so often neglected
in post-disaster communities.We need you more than ever.
Haiti remains the poorest and least developed country in the
Western hemisphere, and the Haitian people are still struggling each
day to rebuild their lives and communities. Today,
in addition to providing ongoing camp management and comprehensive
medical care, J/P HRO is focused on community regeneration. This
includes rubble removal and demolition activities, expanding
services from the camp into the neighborhoods, developing housing,
education and medical facilities, and designing job creation and
livelihoods programs. The goal of J/P HRO is to help lift the nation
of Haiti out of poverty and give the Haitian people a better life.
With the rainy season upon us and hurricane season on its way,
the people of Haiti are facing another wave of incredible
devastation. Time is of the essence in our efforts
to ensure safe shelter and medical care for tens of thousands while
constructing a brighter future for all.
Your support is crucial to ensuring ongoing success. Please,
renew your commitment to the people of Haiti today with a
gift of any amount. To learn more about J/P HRO's progress on the
ground in Haiti or to donate online, please visit www.jphro.org.
On behalf of the people of Haiti and the J/P HRO team, thank you
for your continued support.
Sean Penn CEO
J/P Haitian Relief Organization
PS. If you haven't already done so, connect
with us on Facebook. And please take a moment to forward
this email to your friends and family, and ask them to join us in
saving lives and building futures in Haiti.
July 22, 2011 -
Exklusive Sean Penn Interview "Reel Life - Real Stories"
In this exclusive candid interview, film legend Sean Penn discusses staying up
all night to make movies in high school with his brother, how acting is like
restoring an old Corvette, and, the importance of finding your own voice and
refilling the tank.
July 15, 2011 - Watch: First
Trailer for Sean Penn's new Indie "This Must Be The Place"
"Actually, Mick Jagger sang with me." Time to get a little
taste of Sean Penn in drag. Our friends at
Twitch have uncovered the first trailer for
This Must Be The Place, directed by Italian
filmmaker Paolo Sorretino, starring Sean Penn as a "bored, retired rock
star" who hunts the US to find the ex-Nazi war criminal who killed his
father and "track down and confront his father's nemesis."
Watch the first trailer for Paolo
Sorrentino's This Must Be The Place
This Must Be The Place
is written and directed by Italian
Paolo Sorrentino, making his English language debut after directing
One Man Up, The Consequences of Love, The Family Friend and
Il Divo previously. The screenplay was co-written by Sorrentino and
(The Missing Star, A Question of the Heart, The
Passion). This first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this
year. Trinity Entertainment will be bringing This Must Be The Place
to theaters, but hasn't set an official release date yet.
June 15, 2011 - Sean Penn in
talks to direct Robert de Niro in "The Comedian"
Sean Penn will come
aboard to direct "The Comedian" starring Robert De Niro,
according to sources. The film was written by
Art Linson and
Jeffrey Ross and follows De
Niro as an aging, bitterly funny stand-up comic. It will go into
production in New York next year. Penn's last di rectorial effort was
the 2007 Jon Krakauer
adaptation, "Into the Wild." As a producer, Linson has worked with De
Niro on "The Untouchables," "Heat" and "What Just Hap pened." Reports
from Cannes had erroneously said
Martin Scorsese would direct "The Comedian."
Juni 12, 2011 -
Hal Holbrook honored at Actors
Hal Holbrook was honored with the Julie Harris Award at the Actor's
Fund 15th Annual Tony Award Viewing Party in Los Angeles on June 12,
2011. Previous recipients of the award have included Julie Harris, Rita
Moreno, James Earl Jones, Lauren Bacall and Liza Minnelli.
The star-studded fundraising event was held at Skirball Cultural
Center and was the only approved simulcast of the Tony Awards. The gala
was hosted by Marilu Henner with guest appearances by Brian Stokes
Mitchell, Martin Sheen and Sean Penn.
Penn, who previously directed Holbrook in Into the Wild,
presented the award to the 86-year old actor in front of friends and
family members at the sold-out gala dinner.
"Hal always got it on the first take, but you wanted to make him do
it again, just so you could watch him work," Penn said.
The Actors Fund was established in 1892 and is a four-star rated
human services charity for anybody who has made a living in show
business, according to Chairman of the Board, Brian Stokes Mitchell.
Juni 5, 2011 - "Guy Movie
Hall of Fame" Award for Sean Penn
Spike TV's 'Guys Choice' reunites 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' cast onstage
Robert DeNiro helped honor the "Fast Times At
Ridgemont High" cast at Guys Choice 2011 as they brought back the stars
of the Amy Hecklerling/Cameron Crowe classic,
Spicoli himself, Sean Penn.
Penn accepts the "Guy Movie Hall of Fame" award for the movie
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
Robert De Niro at the 5th annual
Guys Choice awards in
California June 4, 2011.
Sean Penn, Forest
Whitaker, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus and director Amy Heckerling all
took the stage. Sean Penn even dusted off his Jeff Spicoli voice, saying, “Aloha, Mr.
Hand” at the end of his speech!
May 30, 2011 - "The
recruits Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling & Josh Brolin
Negotiations have begun between
Warner Bros. and Sean Penn,
Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin to star in the
action-crime drama The Gangster Squad.
Directed by Zombieland
helmer Ruben Fleischer, the project,
previously known as Tales From
the Gangster Squad, centers on a special unit of the Los
Angeles Police Department in the 1940s that was tasked with ridding
the city of gangster Mickey Cohen and his crime
Penn is reportedly in talks to star as Cohen, while Ryan Gosling
and Josh Brolin will play two of the elite cops charged with the duty
of arresting the associate of Meyer Lansky and
While it isn't clear when The Gangster Squad will go into
production, if all three of these actors come on board it is a
testament to Will Beall's strength as a screenwriter,
and could work in the favor of Fleischer's next film—30
Minutes or Less (out August 12).
The Gangster Squad shoots its way into theaters on 2013.
23, 2011 -
Cannes Film Festival was more like the Festival de Sean Penn
It looks like this year's
Cannes Film Festival
turned out to be the Festival de Sean Penn. Not only did
Penn have two winning films in the fest, he was also honored at
the first Cinema For Peace inaugural dinner for his charity work in
On Saturday, This Must Be The
Place, in which Sean plays an aging rock star, won the
festival's prestigious Ecumenical Jury Prize. And on
Sunday, the Cannes Film Festival
awarded its highest prize, the Palme d'Or, to The Tree of Life, a film by Terrence Malick which also
stars Penn, along with Brad Pitt.
Though the movie won top honors at the fest, there's some questions about
how regular Joes (a.k.a. the rest of us) will embrace the movie,
especially since it features dinosaurs, little dialog, and Sean Penn as
Brad Pitt's adult son.
While Penn was basking in the glow of his
Cannes accolades this weekend, his Tree of Life co-star Brad Pitt
was back to work in L.A. on Saturday.
Brad and Sean will reunite tomorrow night though when Tree of Life
has its US premiere at at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
May 23, 2011 - Sean Penn Charity
Dinner for J/P HRO
As one of the main hosts of the charity dinner "Sean Penn & Friends" on
the 18th May 2011, Salus Alpha donated in favor of Sean Penn´s charity
organization J/P HRO. This event took place in the Carlton
Hotel in Cannes and attracted high-profile stars. Guests like Uma
Thurman, Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway, Naomi Campbell, Robert de Niro & Leonardo
DiCaprio made the evening unforgettable and contributed significantly to the
success of this charity dinner.
The main initiators of the evening, who generously supported Sean Penn´s
charity project, were Oliver Prock from Salus Alpha, Jaka Bizilj from Cinema
for Peace, Ella Krasner, Roberta Armani and Maybach.
During the evening Mr. Sean Penn held an emotive speech, pointing to
Haiti´s ongoing catastrophic conditions at the same time providing the
guests with first positive results of the reconstruction efforts.
21, 2011 -
"This must be the Place" Premiere in
Cannes with Sean Penn
CANNES, France — A quick onstage chat at the closing night of the Cannes
Film Festival launched Sean Penn and director Paolo Sorrentino on a trek
that brought them back to the world's most prestigious showcase.
Penn and Sorrentino's first collaboration, the comic drama "This Must Be
the Place," premiered Friday at Cannes, where three years earlier the actor
headed the awards jury that gave the director's Italian political saga "Il
Divo" the festival's third-place jury prize.
Sorrentino and Penn recalled meeting onstage after awards were handed
out. Penn had been impressed enough with Sorrentino's work that he made an
open-ended pledge about working together.
"I think it was a photo at the end, where everyone gets on stage for the
group photo, and I said something to him like, 'Anytime, anywhere,' and next
I knew, he had this script," Penn said at a press conference. "He went ahead
and wrote the script, and then about a year later, he called me up."
"This Must Be the Place" casts two-time Academy Award winner Penn as a
childlike ex-rock star who leaves behind his life of seclusion in Ireland
for a trek across America in pursuit of his late father's Nazi tormentor
from the Holocaust. With long locks of hair and heavy makeup, including lipstick, Penn bears
some resemblance to rocker Ozzy Osbourne, but the actor said he had not been
patterning his character at all on the heavy metal icon.
Premiere: Director Paolo
Sorrentino, Musician David Byrne, Sean Penn und Eve Hewson
Penn's character ponders if he's suffering from depression, and his
journey to fulfill his father's quest plays out as a road trip in which he
rediscovers America and a sense of his rocker's spirit.
"Rock 'n' roll is a place that is very important, because it counters
what I think has become kind of the disease of a polite society," Penn said.
"So that this movie taking on the matters of one's own purpose and soul and
history and compromises, and in some kind of pursuit to break through a
depression, that's what rock 'n' roll always has been."
The film co-stars Frances McDormand, Kerry Condon, Harry Dean Stanton,
Judd Hirsch and Eve Hewson, daughter of U2 singer Bono. Talking Heads leader
David Byrne provides music and plays himself in the film for a performance
of the title song.
Sorrentino has become a Cannes regular, "This Must Be the Place"
his fourth film in the festival's main competition since 2004.
"It's no coincidence that Paolo's movies are systematically finding
themselves embraced by a festival where the bar is so high and multicultural.
It's where I first found out about his magic hand," Penn said, turning to
address Sorrentino beside him at the press conference. "So I hope for you
that they have the discernment to once again celebrate your work."
"This Must Be the Place" is one of 20 films competing for Cannes main
prize, the Palme d'Or, which will be handed out Sunday night.
16, 2011 -
"Tree of Life" Premiere in
Cannes with Sean Penn
Riding a tidal wave of
anticipation, Terrence Malick’s coming-of-age epic, The Tree of Life,
finally made its premiere at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The film,
which Malick has reportedly been working on for close to four decades,
tells the story of a father (Brad Pitt) and mother (Jessica Chastain)
who struggle to raise young boys in 1950s Texas. One of them grows up to
become a sad, disillusioned man, played by Sean Penn. The film, billed
as a spiritual journey, reportedly incorporates the evolutionary
spectrum, from the cosmos to dinosaurs and beyond. While The Tree of
Life garnered some boos after the screening, the film nonetheless
Variety called it
“extraordinary,” but also an “inescapably divisive picture,” while
in its five-star review, deemed it a “mad and magnificent film.”
Movieline was less impressed, remarking
how Malick’s film “is a gargantuan work of pretension and cleverly
Kurt Johnstad (300) wrote the screenplay based off an original idea by Zack
Snyder. Christian Bale is looking to play a war correspondent who witnesses
a brutal attack on American soldiers
in Afghanistan, and is the only survivor. Sean Penn will portray an
ex-soldier who returns to Afghanistan
to find the kidnapped family member, who teams up with the war journalist to
identify the captors.
The project was originally set up at Warner Bros., although it will likely
move to Dark Castle with producers Joel Silver and Andrew Rona. Warner Bros.
will still distribute
The Last Photograph, with Dark Castle financing
February 16, 2011 -
Cinema for Peace
Sean Penn in Berlin
Penn was awarded with the Cinema for Peace
Honorary Award 2011 on
February 14 at a Gala held at the Konzerthaus Am Gendarmenmarkt
in Berlin which was attended by Sir Bob Geldof, Jeanne Marine, Bianca
Jaggar and Nastassja Kinski. Bianca Jaggar and Nastassja Kinski
presented Sean Penn with the Cinema for Peace Honorary Award
for his humanitarian efforts in Haiti after the earthquake which ravaged
the area in 2010.
The Cinema for Peace is an international charity
organization which holds an annual gala and uses the event as a platform
for peace and increasing tolerance. The organization started in 2002 and
has members from the international film community. The gala event is
held every year in Berlin and honors film work that focuses on values,
social issues, political issues and peace.
Sean Penn, although well known for his acting career, is also an
activist for the environment and politics. He has done extensive
humanitarian work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and now he is
known for the work he has done in 2010 to help the people of Haiti after
Sean Penn recently told Vanity Fair of his mission: ” “[Haiti has]
returned to me something I lost –
The day before, Sean Penn, Sir Bob Geldof and Astronaut Buzz Aldrin attended
a press conference for the Cinema for Peace.
On January 22 Sean Penn received the prestigious Stanley Kramer Award by
Major Brian Woolworth, a fellow veteran of the Haitian relief effort.
January 7, 2011 -
PGA honors Sean Penn with Kramer Award
Producers Guild of America has selected Sean Penn to receive its
Stanley Kramer Award
-- marking the
first time the kudo has gone to an individual.
Award will be presented to Penn at the 22nd annual Producers Guild Awards
Jan. 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The PGA established the Kramer Award in 2002 to honor an achievement or
contribution that"illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and
elevating fashion." Previous recipients include pics "The Great Debaters," "An
Inconvenient Truth," "Hotel Rwanda," "Innocent Voices," "In America," "Antwone
Fisher," "Precious" and the 2002 winner "I Am Sam," starring Penn.
"Sean is a committed activist who has used his extraordinary talents and
influence to shed light on powerful stories, causes and individuals -- through
film, journalism and global humanitarian organizations," said Paula Wagner,
chair of the awards.
The PGA noted that Penn's humanitarian work has found him in New Orleans in
the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in
earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief
Organization, which focuses on medical aid, protection and relocation.