Celebrating the Good in Hollywood

With top actors and actresses as emcees, and a music and entertainment extravaganza, the 17th Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry will be held Wednesday, Feb. 11 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in the heart of Hollywood, California.

More than 400 studio executives, celebrities, producers, filmmakers, television artists, faith-based leaders, opinion leaders and their guests will attend.

Nearly 100 representatives from national and international news media will also attend the Gala.

Within the context of this spectacular Hollywood awards evening, Dr. Ted Baehr will present MOVIEGUIDE®’s Report to the Entertainment Industry. Through careful analysis of box office figures and using MOVIEGUIDE® criteria on all the major movies released in 2008 (nearly 300 a year) by the six studios and major independents dominating the industry, Dr. Baehr will give valuable and unique information to the highest-level Hollywood leaders through a high-impact, multimedia presentation.

Besides the Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Report to the Entertainment Industry, the Gala now features the prestigious $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for Inspiring Movies & TV and the $50,000 Kairos Prizes for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by Beginning Screenwriters sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation.

The Epiphany and Kairos Prizes are given to the best movie, television program and scripts that “greatly increase man’s love and/or understanding of God.”

Also on tap at the Gala are the Faith & Freedom Awards for Promoting Positive American Values, and the Grace Awards for Inspiring Performances in Movies & TV, as well as Crystal Teddy Awards for the Ten Best Movies for Families and 10 Best Movies for Mature Audiences.

The prizes and awards seek to acknowledge those movies, TV programs and actors truly deserving of praise, and those persons responsible for bringing them to the screen.

“The surprising thing is, MOVIEGUIDE®’s top picks turn out to be among the most profitable films Hollywood produced during the year,” Dr. Baehr noted in his very first presentation of MOVIEGUIDE®’s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry in 1993.

“It is still true in 2008,” he says.

The ultimate purpose of the MOVIEGUIDE® Gala and the Report is:

To encourage filmmakers to continue to make movies with moral and spiritually uplifting values;

To share the concerns of the majority of the American public in regards to the negative influences of today’s movies; and

To present an in-depth study of the annual movie box office and not only dispel the myth that extreme violence, profane language and sex/nudity sell, but also to show that family movies and movies with morally uplifting, Christian values and positive Christian content make the most money by far.

Since the inception of the Awards and Dr. Baehr’s Annual Report in 1993, the number of family movies has more than doubled and the number of movies with positive Christian content has nearly quadrupled by 388 percent. Movies with positive Christian content have also become vastly more popular among average moviegoers, earning three to six times or more as much money as movies with non-Christian content and movies with explicit sex, nudity, violence, and foul language. The number of national television programs with positive Christian references also has increased.

In the wake of the growing popularity of the Epiphany Prizes, major players in Hollywood began producing movies with overt Christian content and values like AMISTAD, THE APOSTLE, THE PATRIOT, REMEMBERING THE TITANS, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, SPIDER-MAN 3, I AM LEGEND, and PRINCE CASPIAN. At the same time, a growing number of smaller movies with positive Christian content were produced, such as NATURALLY NATIVE, JOSHUA, EVELYN, LUTHER, SOPHIE SCHOLL, FACING THE GIANTS, AMAZING GRACE, and FIREPROOF. Meanwhile, in the wake of CHRISTY, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL became the most popular big network show in the country, and 7th HEAVEN became one of the most popular shows on the smaller networks. Even Chuck Norris got into the act, winning the Grace Award and the Epiphany Prize for two of his shows featuring the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Since the beginning of the Epiphany Prizes, the number of movies with positive Christian content has increased from less than 15% to about 50%, and movies with very strong Christian worldviews have increased from an average of only about $2 million per movie to more than $80 million per movie.

“Many studio executives and entertainers are getting the message,” Dr. Baehr notes. “More good movies are being made each year. Hollywood is being redeemed.”

The John Templeton Foundation (www.templeton.org) serves as a philanthropic catalyst for research relating to what scientists and philosophers call the Big Questions. It supports work at the world’s top universities in such fields as theoretical physics, cosmology, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, and social science relating to love, forgiveness, creativity, purpose, and the nature and origin of religious belief. It also encourages informed, open-minded dialogue between scientists and theologians as they apply themselves to the most profound issues in their particular disciplines. Finally, it seeks to stimulate new thinking about wealth creation in the developing world, character education in schools and universities, and programs for cultivating the talents of gifted children.