25th Annual Movieguide® Awards Celebrates Inspiring Movies and TV Programs;
Entertainment with Strong Christian Content Receive Special Honors
By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
A packed house of Hollywood stars and celebrities joined with top Hollywood executives, producers, filmmakers, and television artists to celebrate the most inspiring, family-friendly movies and television programs of 2016 at the 25th Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.
The event was held Feb. 10 in the sparkling Grand Ballroom of the Universal Hilton Hotel near the heart of Hollywood.
Many of the entertainment industry’s top movers and shakers and celebrities, along with friends and supporters of the Gala and MOVIEGUIDE®, came to find out the winners of the Best 2016 Movies for Families and Mature Audiences, the Grace Awards for Most Inspiring Movie and TV Performances of 2016, the Bradley Foundation Faith & Freedom Awards for Promoting Positive American Values, the $15,000 Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by First-Time and Beginning Screenwriters and the $15,000 Kairos Pro Prize for Inspiring Screenplays by Established Filmmakers sponsored by Pure Flix Streaming, and the prestigious Epiphany Prizes for Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program of 2016.
“The Inspired Life” was the theme for the evening, which proved that movies and television programs drove uplifting, enduring entertainment, and financial success.
THE YOUNG MESSIAH and DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE took home top honors at the 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala. They won the two Epiphany Prizes for the Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program that most greatly best increases “man’s love and understanding of God.”
They won the respective Epiphany Prizes for 2016’s Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program that “greatly increases man’s love and understanding of God.”
Emcee for the evening, which attracted more than 150 honorees and representatives from Hollywood, was Actor Terry Crews of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS and THE EXPENDABLES.
Other top winners at the Awards included HACKSAW RIDGE, GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, and three other television movies, THE BRIDGE PART 2, A TIME TO DANCE and OPERATION CHRISTMAS.
Coming on stage to accept the Epiphany Prize for THE YOUNG MESSIAH were Grace Award winner Adam Greaves-Neal, Director-Writer Cyrus Nowrasteh, Writer Betsy Griffin-Nowrasteh, and Producer Terry K. Price.
Speaking for THE YOUNG MESSIAH cast and crew, Price said, “This was an elaborate journey. This film got shut down, and I made a commitment to the people that were involved that I would either get it done or die in the process, and did a little of both. So, thank you so much for this recognition.
“I can’t thank Adam enough and his mom for making the trip, my daughter who was part of the film, Cyrus and Betsy, I call them Cyrus B. DeMille. So, if you want an epic movie, Cyrus B. DeMille is the guy. Betsy wrote the scene with Mary and Jesus under the tree, which I think is, at least according to Chris Columbus, one of the five most beautiful moments ever put on film. And, if you haven’t seen it, I would encourage all of you to take a look at THE YOUNG MESSIAH.”
Accepting for DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, was 9-year-old Alyvia Alyn Lind, who played Dolly Parton as a young child in the movie.
“Thank you so much!” Alyvia exclaimed. “We’re so happy for this. . . this movie’s so amazing. I’m so honored that it got to win tonight.”
Executive Producer Sam Haskell added, “This child brought iconic American Dolly Parton’s childhood to life, and Alyvia will allow Dolly’s legacy to live on forever.
“I want to thank God,” Haskell continued. “I want to thank Ted Baehr and this incredible organization, the Movieguide® Awards. The people standing behind me are basically the wind beneath our wings. Just know that to stand in the light of God’s grace and to show people who you really are is what it’s about. That’s who Dolly Parton is and we love her, we appreciate her, and we cherish her. She is a servant of God and we love telling the stories of her life. Thank you so, so much.”
A highlight of the Awards Gala was Movieguide®’s presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Communicating and Living the Good News to The Rev. Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Family Channel, Regent University, and Operation Blessing.
“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen,” Rev. Robertson said after receiving standing ovation. “Thank you so very much.
“I want to thank Ted Baehr and this wonderful organization for this honor you’re giving me. It’s been a thrill. It’s been a long journey, 55 years of broadcasting. I guess that’s a long time. I’ve done 10,000 live television shows, 10,000 of them. You guys with these scripts should know, you do a movie, a week, a month, a year. I do five a week, but anyhow, that’s the way it goes.
“God has blessed me. We are so privileged to live in this great land. We are so blessed. I’ve been all over the world. I’ve seen desperate poverty. I’ve seen suffering. I’ve seen leper colonies. I’ve been to people who were desperately poor, didn’t have enough food to eat and done what I can to help them along the way.
“To realize when you come back to this nation, you get clean water, you take that for granted. Most people can’t get it. I’ve been to India where they had to drink out of these feted pools that were just green and sickening, [but] we have fresh water, we have fresh air, we have delicious food. We have, even though the freeways are blocked up, roads that work. Most of them are dirt roads in other countries. We have so much here in this nation and we are so blessed.
“In another month I am going to be 87 years old! Praise God for His blessing and my life,” Pat concluded. “I’ve only got 13 more years to go, and I’ll hit 100, and then I guess it’s 110, after that, but whatever it is, thank you all. Ted, thank you. God bless all of you. God bless America.”
One of the most passionate winner’s speech came from Actress Faith Ford of THE BRIDGE PART 2, who won the Grace Award for Most Inspiring TV Performance by an Actress.
“Well,” she said, “first off, I’m gonna thank a being that’s very important in my life and that is God. I’m a granddaughter of a preacher, and [he] would be very proud right now.
“Karen Kingsberry wrote an amazing book that was inspirational, and in this time we need lots of that. We need to be inspired. We need to think of who’s coming up behind us, which is something I’ve always thought when I moved to New York when I was 17. I always thought about all those little girls and little boys and their parents and things they might be watching.
“My grandpa used to say, ‘There’s always someone watching over, you remember that.’ I’ve always remembered that. . . . Thank you so much, Movieguide®, and everyone.
Other winners of the Grace Awards for Inspiring Performances in Movies & TV included Adam Greaves-Neal, who played Jesus as a young boy in THE YOUNG MESSIAH, Melissa Joan Hart for GOD’S NOT DEAD 2; and, Devielle Johnson, who played a pastor and marriage counselor in A TIME TO DANCE
MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN won the Teddy Bear Award for Best Movie for Families, while GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 won the Papa Bear Award for Best Movie for Mature Audiences.
HACKSAW RIDGE won the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation’s Faith & Freedom Award for Presenting Positive American Values in Movies, and the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel’s television movie OPERATION CHRISTMAS won the Faith & Freedom Award for TV.
Taking home the $15,000 Kairos Prize for Beginning Screenwriters was Trisha Mammen from Daly City, Calif. for her script, THE PRAYER BOX.
The spiritually uplifting screenplay is about “a young boy who tries to catch God’s attention by raiding the church prayer request box, and encounters the lives of people who will lead him to the very love he desperately needs.”
The Kairos Pro Prize for Established Filmmakers went to a comedy/drama titled DONUTS WITH JERRY, written by Ron and Mitzi Lynton-Peer from Phoenix, Ariz.
The story is about “a mysterious stranger who becomes stranded after a car accident in a small town at Christmas time, and becomes embroiled in the mayoral election between the ruthless businessman, who rules the town, and the feisty female owner of the donut shop.”
The Kairos Prizes are given to the best, most inspiring screenplays that “greatly increase man’s love or understanding of God.”
Sponsored by Pure Flix Streaming, the prizes were presented by Pure Flix Co-Founders David A.R. White and Michael Scott, the men behind GOD’S NOT DEAD and the upcoming drama THE CASE FOR CHRIST.
During the 25th Annual Movieguide® Awards, Founder and Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr presented Movieguide®’s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, which year in and year out shows Hollywood and the news media that TV viewers and moviegoers prefer movies and television programs with biblical, morally uplifting, faith-based, patriotic, and conservative principles and values.
He reported that TV viewers and moviegoers prefer movies and television programs with biblical, morally uplifting, faith-based, patriotic, and conservative principles and values.
For example, four of the Top 5 movies at the box office worldwide in 2016 are Movieguide® Award-winning movies with positive Christian, biblical, morally uplifting, patriotic, and strong conservative or traditional family-friendly values, including CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, THE JUNGLE BOOK, FINDING DORY, and ZOOTOPIA.
All four movies appear on Movieguide®’s lists of the Top Ten Movies for Families or the Top Ten Movies for Mature Audiences.
The 80-page 2017 Report to the Entertainment Industry also notes that the patriotic TV program NCIS is not only the Number One TV Drama in the United States but also overseas.
In addition, this year’s Epiphany Prize winner, DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, was the most popular television movie by far last year. According to Nielsen’s ratings, the movie’s original telecast and a second broadcast in December were watched by 15.74 million people in the U.S.
That would be equivalent to $136.15 million at the weekend theatrical box office in the United States, using 2016’s average ticket price of $8.65. By the way, this $136 million would place the Dolly Parton movie in the Top 20 Opening Weekends of all time!
“We use such figures to encourage Hollywood to make more Christian, family-friendly movies and television programs like Dolly Parton’s TV movie,” Dr. Baehr said after the Gala.
Apparently, this strategy has been working like gangbusters for the last 25 years.
For example, since the Movieguide® Awards began in 1993, the number of family movies released by the entertainment industry has skyrocketed. Now, every major Hollywood movie studio, not just Disney, has a division devoted to making family movies.
Also, according to Movieguide®’s Annual Report, since the Movieguide® Awards began, the number of movies with strong Christian content has increased 296%! In addition, movies with strong Christian content have gone from earning less than $210 million each year at the box office in the United States and Canada to making more than $3.8 billion with a “b.”
Those dollar figures don’t even include overseas or home video earnings.
At the Gala, Dr. Baehr also reported that 80% of the Top 10 Movies at the Box Office in the United States and Canada had strong Christian, biblical, redemptive, or moral content.
“This is the same for overseas,” he noted.
“By putting faith and values in your movies, you reach broader audiences,” Dr. Baehr advised the more than 150 attendees from the entertainment industry at the Movieguide® Awards.
“We just want to be humble and support you and encourage you,” he added.
He pointed out to the Gala attendees that, by the time a child reaches 17, he or she will have consumed up to 64,000 hours of the mass media, but only spent 11,000 hours in school, 2,000 hours with their parents and only 800 hours in church if they go once a week.
“You’re the teachers,” Dr. Baehr said. “You’re raising up the next generation because parents can’t keep up with the mass media of entertainment. If it weren’t for your films and television programs, I think we’d be in serious trouble because you’re doing something different with them.”
Dr. Baehr overtly preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Hollywood elite gathered at the 25th Annual Awards Gala.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” he quoted from John 3:16, “that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. . . . The good news isn’t just about the vast future after death; it’s actually about NOW. Jesus came that you might have life and have it abundantly [John 10:10]. He wants you to have the abundant life NOW. So, we want you to have the abundant life NOW.”
Finally, he offered MOVIEGUIDE®’s help in finding the abundant life offered by Jesus, and in making better, more captivating, more successful movies with strong faith and values.
You can watch the 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala Easter Sunday, April 16, on the REELZChannel at 5 pm Eastern Time and 2 pm Pacific Time.
Please check your local listings.
Now in its 32nd year, Movieguide® is dedicated to “redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public, especially parents and children, about the influence of the entertainment media.”
Movieguide®’s Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala honors the best, most family-friendly movies and television programs honoring God and inspiring audiences with messages of faith, hope, goodness, justice, liberty, redemption, forgiveness, and true divine love.
For a complete rundown of everything that happened at the Gala, including a special 35th Anniversary Section and red carpet, backstage coverage, please get a copy of our Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Gala issue.
Below is a complete list of all the winners and nominees chosen by the judges for Movieguide®’s 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.
Full Winners List
SPECIAL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Lifetime Achievement Award for Communicating and Living the Good News to Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, the 700 Club and Operation Blessing
THE EPIPHANY PRIZES FOR INSPIRING MOVIES & TV
EPIPHANY PRIZE FOR MOST INSPIRING MOVIE OF 2016
Winner: THE YOUNG MESSIAH
Other nominees: HACKSAW RIDGE, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, RISEN, SILENCE, BEN-HUR (2016), HAIL, CAESAR!
EPIPHANY PRIZE FOR MOST INSPIRING TV PROGRAM OF 2016
Winner: DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE
Other nominees: THE PASSION: NEW ORLEANS, THE BRIDGE PART 2, A TIME TO DANCE, OPERATION CHRISTMAS, POCAHONTAS: DOVE OF PEACE, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.LD.: SEASON 3: EPISODES: 20-22: Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension
TEN BEST MOVIES FOR FAMILIES
1 – MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN
2 – THE YOUNG MESSIAH
3 – SING
4 – THE JUNGLE BOOK (2016)
5 – FINDING DORY
6 – THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
7 – TROLLS
8 – QUEEN OF KATWE
9 – ZOOTOPIA
10 – PETE’S DRAGON (2016)
TEN BEST MOVIES FOR MATURE AUDIENCES
1 – GOD’S NOT DEAD 2
2 – HACKSAW RIDGE
3 – CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
4 – RISEN
5 – SILENCE
6 – BEN-HUR (2016)
7 – THE FINEST HOURS
8 – SULLY
9 – EDDIE THE EAGLE
10 – HAIL, CAESAR!
FAITH & FREEDOM AWARD FOR PROMOTING POSITIVE AMERICAN VALUES IN MOVIES*
Winner: HACKSAW RIDGE
Other Nominees: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, SULLY, SING, QUEEN OF KATWE, HAIL, CAESAR!
FAITH & FREEDOM AWARD FOR PROMOTING POSITIVE AMERICAN VALUES IN TV*
Winner: OPERATION CHRISTMAS
Other Nominees: POCAHONTAS: DOVE OF PEACE, THE BRIDGE PART 2, DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, THE PASSION: NEW ORLEANS,
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.LD.: SEASON 3: EPISODES: 20-22: Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension
* Supported by a grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
GRACE AWARDS FOR MOST INSPIRING ACTING IN MOVIES
WINNING ACTOR: Adam Greaves-Neal for THE YOUNG MESSIAH
Other Nominees: Joseph Fiennes for RISEN, Robert Pike Daniel for HAIL, CAESAR!, David A.R. White for GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, Andrew Garfield for HACKSAW RIDGE, Cliff Curtis for RISEN, Rodrigo Santoro for BEN-HUR (2016), Josh Brolin for HAIL, CAESAR!
WINNING ACTRESS: Melissa Joan Hart for GOD’S NOT DEAD 2
Other Nominees: Kylie Rogers for MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, Jennifer Garner for MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN
GRACE AWARD FOR MOST INSPIRING ACTING IN TELEVISION
WINNING ACTOR: Devielle Johnson for A TIME TO DANCE
OTHER NOMINEES: Ted McGinley for THE BRIDGE PART 2, Tyler Perry for THE PASSION: NEW ORLEANS, Gerald McRaney for DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, Marc Blucas for OPERATION CHRISTMAS
WINNING ACTRESS: Faith Ford for THE BRIDGE PART 2
OTHER NOMINEES: Alyvia Alyn Lind for DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, Dolly Parton for DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, Natalia Cordova-Buckley for AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.LD.: SEASON 3: EPISODES: 20-22 – Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension
The Kairos Prizes, Sponsored by Pure Flix Streaming:
$15,000 Kairos Prize for Most Spiritually Uplifting Screenplay by a First-Time or Beginning Screenwriters
Trisha Mammen from Daly City, Calif. for her script, THE PRAYER BOX
$15,000 Kairos Pro Prize for Most Inspiring Screenplay by an Experienced Filmmaker
Ron and Mitzi Lynton-Peer from Phoenix, Ariz. For their script, DONUTS WITH JERRY
We are a crowdfunded organization, supported by people like you. These are some of the reasons why our supporters choose to give.
"Ability to find quality Christian critiques of movies."
You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.
Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax-deductible.
Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.
What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.
You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.
Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.