Fox Searchlight's Juno was close behind with six for best picture, comedy movie, actress for Ellen Page, writer for Diablo Cody, young actor for Michael Cera and acting ensemble.
Atonement, Sweeney Todd, No Country For Old Men, Michael Clayton and Hairspray earned five apiece while There Will Be Blood and The Diving Bell And The Butterfly received three nominations each.
In the best picture contest Into The Wild and Juno go against American Gangster, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, The Kite Runner, Michael Clayton, No Country For Old Men, Sweeney Todd and There Will Be Blood.
Penn is among a field of best director nominees that includes Tim Burton for Sweeney Todd, Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men, Joe Wright for Atonement, Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and Sidney Lumet for Before The Devil Knows You're Dead.
Hirsch will contest the best actor stakes with George Clooney for Michael Clayton, Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood, Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd, Ryan Gosling for Lars And The Real Girl and Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises.
Atonement star Keira Knightley was conspicuous by her absence from the best actress category, which pits La Vie En Rose's Marion Cotillard against Julie Christie for Away From Her, Amy Adams for Enchanted, Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart and Page for Juno.
The winners will be announced on January 7. For a complete list of nominees visit www.bfca.org.