Redeeming Hollywood One Script at a Time

Faith-Based Screenwriting Competition Sees More Winners Go into Production

By Tom Snyder, Editor

More Hollywood producers and studios are flocking to the faith-based winners of the Annual $50,000 Kairos Prizes for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by Beginning and First-Time Screenwriters these days.

The first Grand Prize winner, JOHN THE REVELATOR, was released in January 2011 on DVD as JOHNNY. Three more Kairos winners went into production recently, including TOUCHED (retitled A SEASON OF MIRACLES) by Rusty Whitener, A MATTER OF TIME by Christina Denton, and UNDER THE APPLE TREE, a romantic comedy with Christian values, by Matthew Hill and Landon Johnson.

Michael Trent, manager of the Kairos Prize competition, said three other winners are scheduled to go into production before the end of the year.

“This is a tremendous achievement,” said Dr. Ted Baehr, co-founder of the competition and publisher of Movieguide®:  The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment. “It usually takes nine to 13 years on average for a script to be produced into a movie.”

“God really seems to have His fingerprints on this competition,” Trent added. “I’m excited to see what’s coming next.”

Supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation headquartered just outside Philadelphia, the Annual Kairos Prizes (now in their eighth year) reward the three best scripts that “greatly increase humanity’s love or understanding of God.”

Prizes of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 are presented each year at the Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry sponsored by Good News Communications, dba the Christian Film, & Television Commission® and Movieguide®.

The Grand Prize winner is now sent out to more than 80 top producers, studio executives, and filmmakers in Hollywood. Many of them want to read the two runners up.

In fact, Jeffrey Katzenberg, founder of DreamWorks Animation (SHREK and MADAGASCAR) praised the last two Grand Prize winners, BLUE WATER METAL and THE HALO THEORY, for their creativity and promise.

Dr. Ted Baehr has been teaching screenwriting for 30 years. Recently, he published his guide to writing, producing, and marketing inspiring movies, HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL).

His next four-day screenwriting workshop takes place June 27-30 in Southern Calif., followed by one in late August.

Entries for the Eighth Annual Kairos Prizes are now being accepted. An Early Bird Discount of $50 will be given to those who submit their script entries by Sept. 24, 2012. After that, the entry fee will be $80 until the final deadline of Nov. 2, 2012. Criteria for the prizes may be found on the Kairos Prize website at www.kairosprize.com.

The Kairos Prize winners will be announced Feb. 15, 2013 at the 21st Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry in the Grand Ballroom at the Universal Hilton Hotel near Hollywood.

For more information on Dr. Baehr’s regular screenwriting workshops and classes, please call 1-888-248-6689 or visit www.movieguide.org.

Dr. Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC) ministry and director of its family guide to movies and entertainment, Movieguide® (www.movieguide.org). CFTVC and Movieguide® are an international non-profit ministry, advocacy group, and watchdog dedicated to “redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media.”

Each year at the Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala, Dr. Baehr presents highlights from Movieguide®’s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, which shows that family-friendly, spiritually uplifting movies with Christian, biblical values supporting ethical monotheism make the most money at the box office and on DVD.

“Great movies are great stories well told, have a positive worldview, and are morally or spiritually inspiring,” Dr. Baehr noted.

He pointed out that the most successful movie of the year so far, Marvel’s THE AVENGERS, fits all of these qualities, as did previous box office winners like TOY STORY 3, LORD OF THE RINGS:  THE RETURN OF THE KING, the SPIDER-MAN movies, THE BLIND SIDE, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, SHREK 2, and THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

The John Templeton Foundation (www.templeton.org) serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights. The Foundation’s vision is derived from the late Sir John Templeton’s optimism about the possibility of acquiring “new spiritual information” and from his commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The Foundation’s motto, “How little we know, how eager to learn,” exemplifies its support for open-minded inquiry and its hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.