Saturday, April 17, 2021
Home / Top Stories / discovery+ Launching Sean Penn-Led Doc Citizen Penn

discovery+ Launching Sean Penn-Led Doc Citizen Penn


The award-winning documentary Citizen Penn, which follows Sean Penn’s humanitarian efforts to bring aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, is set to make its debut on discovery+ on May 6.

Citizen Penn ​chronicles Penn and his team of volunteers landing in Haiti just days after the earthquake struck and the ten years since. The film offers viewers a look into the triumphs and challenges of those who decided to do something.  Penn went there for what he thought was a two-week aid mission to drop off supplies and to help doctors provide immediate medical care, but instead stayed and created an organization called J/P HRO (now CORE) that took over management duties for the largest camp for displaced people in the entire country. 

Over the past few years, CORE has expanded its efforts across the U.S., most recently organizing free Covid-19 testing sites across the country and running the vaccination site at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. Citizen Penn highlights the team and their current projects in the U.S.

Citizen Penn features an original score by Linda Perry which includes the original song “Eden” (To Find Love), performed by Bono and co-written by Bono and Perry.

Igal Svet, VP of documentaries at discovery+, said: “What Sean Penn and his team at CORE have been able to achieve is nothing short of remarkable. From a devastating earthquake in Haiti to the current situation with Covid-19 in the U.S., Don Hardy and Shawn Dailey captured the visceral urgency of their humanitarian work and stayed with the story for over decade, long after the national news crews all went home. It’s a privilege to share their incredible journey of grit, ingenuity and perseverance on discovery+ during a moment in time the world needs it most. Citizen Penn is about rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Penn commented: “From climate to conflict resolution, to poverty and Covid-19, citizenship increasingly requires service. Service itself can be a bumpy road, but one we all have to travel. Don Hardy traveled it with CORE (JP/HRO) for over a decade, and I hope his insightful filmmaking will find some form of inspiration for those who watch it. He shows the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

Don Hardy added: “Citizen Penn is a film about how you build an airplane while it’s already in the air and how you keep it flying after it has grown bigger than you ever imagined. Hopefully, CORE’s work will inspire others to step forward to help—volunteer, donate, get involved. This is not a time to stand on the sidelines.”


About Chelsea Regan

Chelsea Regan is the managing editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


Channel 5 Bolsters Stripped Event History Program Slate

Channel 5 has commissioned four new specialist-factual series as it ramps up its stripped event history program offering.