Often referred to as “the Christian Oscars,” the 25th Movieguide Awards honor the best of family-friendly movies. Held at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on February 10th, the Silver Anniversary of the Movieguide® Awards gave viewers an opportunity to see the brightest movies from a faith audience perspective.
Movieguide ®’s 25th Red Carpet event featuring top Hollywood talent from some the biggest box office family-friendly movies and the uplifting gala (singularly devoid of political rants and other offensive elements) was a taste of Heaven. Hosting the awards, actor Terry Crews brought his energizing comedic strength to the stage. Music by Olivia Newton John and Anthony Hamilton with Pastor Shirley Caesar was inspiring, adding luminary musical star power to the largest faith awards show in the country.
On that spectacular evening, Movieguide ® generously awarded prizes and grants to a wide range of excellent redemptive, family movies and TV programs. The annual awards gala was, as always, a beautiful, classy, family-friendly show with the best of entertainment and honors for the best in redemptive, family movies and TV.
Representing Sonoma Christian Home, SCH Editor At Large Dr. Diane Howard interviewed producers, writers, directors, and actors on the Red Carpet and the Awards Gala. Kevin and Sam Sorbo were delightful, as always. Kevin gave an update on his upcoming movie Let There Be Light, which is written by Sam Sorbo and is being produced by Sean Hannity.
It is about an atheist who has a near-death experience and becomes a Christian. It is due in theaters on Christmas Eve. Kevin also shared about his participation in a new audio Bible, Breathe Bible.
David A.R. White (God’s Not Dead 2) and Andrea Logan White, who are always gracious on the Red Carpet, gave an update on Pure Flix new, family, faith-friendly comedy show offerings as well as their upcoming new movie The Case for Christ. This film is based on the true story of an award-winning investigative journalist, who is an avowed atheist, and applies his journalistic and legal skills to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife. However, he experiences unexpected, life-altering results. Brian Bird has written the screenplay based on Lee Strobel’s book. It features Faye Dunaway and is due in theaters April 7, 2017.
Cyrus Nowrasteh, producer and director for The Young Messiah, and Betsi Nowrasteh, writer for The Young Messiah, gave an update on their new project, The Last Campaign, with the same producers as for The Young Messiah. This new movie is about the personal redemption story of Robert Kennedy in 1968. Tracy Price, producer, and delightful Adam Greaves-Neal, star of The Young Messiah, were with Cyrus and Betsi on the Red Carpet.
Vivacious, spunky young Alyvia Alyn Lind brought sparkle to the Red Carpet as we discussed her joy in performing the young Dolly Parton in Dolly’s TV movies.
Amy Reid, writer for the TV movie, Pocahontas: Dove of Peace, shared her process in getting the untold true story of Pocahontas from the American Indian Christian perspective. Grammy Award-winning, R&B singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton, who later energetically performed on stage with Pastor Shirley Caesar, talked about the need for positive, uplifting movies.
Kate Linder, veteran TV personality known for Faith Hollywood TV and much more work, shared how much she loves coming to the Movieguide ® Awards Gala and what a pleasure it was this year to be an award presenter. She talked about the need for positivity and family values in TV and movies, and how they can entertain and educate at the same time. Khaneshia ‘KJ’ Smith, also a veteran TV actor known for Queen Sugar, talked about the need for more redemptive stories.
Beautiful Sharon Thomas, a Christian Indian Bollywood star, who is a shining star in India, brought light to the Red Carpet. Jencarlos Canela who played our Lord Jesus Christ for The Passion: New Orleans and one of its executive producers, Adam Anders, also spoke of the need for more uplifting and positive movies and TV.
Veteran singer and actor, Pat Boone, featured recently in God’s Not Dead 2, dazzled the Red Carpet in a sparkling jacket, which he teased that he had brought at an Elvis Presley garage sale. He said “if anyone needs an 80-year-old man who is still able to learn lines, he might be available.”
Devielle Johnson, Time to Dance, was charming on the Red Carpet. DeVon Franklin, award-winning Hollywood producer, best-selling author, renowned preacher, and motivational speaker, was excited to share about his upcoming new film, an animated family adventure called The Star. This movie is about a small but brave donkey and his animal friends who become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas. This film is due to open in theaters November 10, 2017.
In the exclusive Sonoma Christian Home interview, DeVon shares behind-the-scenes secrets about his recent hit film, Miracles from Heaven, and his best-selling book The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love.
Evan Sayet, known for the Politically Incorrect TV series talked of his current papers and speeches on how modern liberal thinking leads to corruption and evil. Serena Laurel, who is an actress and singer-songwriter, told of her new upcoming album, Bird Song. It is an uplifting Alternative Rock collection.
Dr. Fraley, Film Professor at Bryan College, introduced Walker Haynes, whose movie Hamlet’s Ghost was the first feature film received at his Christian Broadstreet Film Festival. The movie is about a modern Shakespearean actor, who must travel back in time to confront enigmatic forces from the past and future. Veteran casting director and actor, Mark Fincannon (The Blind Side), told amazing behind-the-scenes stories about the movie, The End of the Spear, which chronicles the continuing story that began with Elisabeth Elliot. To read the exclusive Sonoma Christian Home interview with Elisabeth, click here.
At the Movieguide Awards Gala, the Best Movies for Families nominations included the following: Finding Dory, The Jungle Book (2016), Miracles from Heaven, Pete’s Dragon (2016), Queen of Katwe, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, Trolls, The Young Messiah, and Zootopia. Miracles from Heaven was the winning movie.
Movieguide ® Awards nominations for Best Movie for Mature Audiences included: Ben-Hur (2016), Captain America: Civil War, Eddie the Eagle, The Finest Hours, God’s Not Dead 2, Hacksaw Ridge, Hail Caesar, Risen, The Silence, and Sully. God’s Not Dead 2 was the winner.
Movieguide ® Epiphany Award nominations, for best and most inspiring movie and television programs included the following: Ben-Hur (2016); God’s Not Dead 2; Hacksaw Ridge; Hail Caesar; Miracles from Heaven; Risen; The Silence; The Young Messiah; Agents of S.h.i.e.l.d (Season 3: Episodes 20-22: Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension; The Bridge (Part 2); Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors (Circle of Love); Operation Christmas; The Passion (New Orleans); Pocahontas (Dove of Peace); and A Time to Dance. The Young Messiah won the award for most inspiring movie and Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors (Circle of Love) won the award for most inspiring TV program.
Movieguide ® Bradley Foundation Faith and Freedom Awards for movie nominations included: Captain America (Civil War); God’s Not Dead 2, Hacksaw Ridge, Hail Caesar, Queen of Katwe, Sing, and Sully. Hacksaw Ridge won the Foundation Faith and Freedom Award.
Movieguide ® Bradley Foundation Faith and Freedom Awards for TV nominations included: Operation Christmas: Pocahontas: Dove of Peace, The Bridge Part 2, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors (Circle of Love), The Passion (New Orleans), and Agents of S.h.i.e.l.d. (Season 3: Episodes 20-22: Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension). Operation Christmas was the winner.
Movieguide ® nominations for Inspiring Performance Awards for movies and TV included: Ben-Hur (2016), Rodrigo Santoro; God’s Not Dead 2, David A.R. White and Melissa Joan Hart; Hacksaw Ridge, Andrew Garfield; Hail Caesar, Josh Brolin and Robert Pike Daniel; Miracles from Heaven, Jennifer Garner and Kylie Rogers; and Risen, Cliff Curtis and Joseph Fiennes; The Young Messiah, Adam Greaves-Neal; Agents of S.h.i.e.ld (Season 3: Episodes 20-22: Emancipation, Absolution, Ascensio), Natalia Cordova-Buckley; The Bridge Part 2, Faith Ford and Ted McGinley; Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors (Circle of Love), Alyvia Alyn Lind, Gerald McRaney, Dolly Parton; The Passion (New Orleans) Tyler Perry; and A Time to Dance, Devielle Johnson.
The Grace Awards were given for the “most inspiring performances in movies and television demonstrating God’s grace and love toward us as human beings.” Melissa Joan Hart won the award for best movie actress for God’s Not Dead 2 and young Adam Greaves-Neal for best movie actor for The Young Messiah. Faith Ford won the award for best TV actress for The Bridge (Part 20) and Devielle Johnson won for best TV actor for A Time to Dance.
A Lifetime Achievement Award for Communicating and Living the Good News was given to Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, The 700 Club and Operation Blessing.
Further, the $15,000 Kairos Prizes were given at the Movieguide ® Awards Gala. Supported by Pure Flix Streaming, the Kairos Pro Prize for Inspiring Screenplays by Established Filmmakers sought to promote positive change in the motion picture industry. The primary purpose of the prize was to further the influence of moral and spiritual values within the entertainment industry as a whole.
Seeking to promote a spiritually uplifting, redemptive worldview, the prize was founded to inspire first-time and beginning screenwriters to produce compelling, entertaining, spiritually uplifting scripts that result in a greater increase in either man’s love or understanding of God.
The Kairos Pro Award went to Trisha Mammen for The Prayer Box. Finalists included Billie Harris for Helping Hands and Eric “Doc” Benson for The Publication. The Kairos Prize for new screenwriters went to Ron Peer for Donuts With Jerry. Finalists included Chris Philips for Holiday in Heaven and Romeo Ciolfi for The Great Surrender.
An annual box office analysis by an advocacy group in Hollywood catering to families has found once again that the most family-friendly movies with the most inspiring, cleanest content earn more money at the box office and on home video.
The 2017 Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry by the pro-family advocacy group Movieguide® shows that the most family-friendly movies averaged more than $78.77 million per movie in 2016 in America and Canada, but the least family-friendly movies with the most offensive, obscene, or anti-family, immoral content averaged only about $22.58 million. R-rated movies fared almost as poorly, averaging only $18.45 million per movie.
The study extensively analyzed the content of the top movies released by the major studios in Hollywood earning $800,000 or more, including the major independent studios.
“The evidence is abundantly clear,” said Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide®. “Moviegoers greatly prefer family-friendly movies.”
He noted that the Annual Report, now in its 25th year, doesn’t just examine family movies and cartoons for children, but family-friendly movies with the cleanest, most inspiring, and least offensive content.
“Most people want to see good conquer evil, truth triumph over falsehood, justice prevail over injustice, liberty conquer tyranny, and beauty overcome ugliness,” he added. “They also would like to take their whole family, including their grandparents, to the movies more often.”
The study also found that movies released in 2016 with no sex, no explicit nudity, and no foul language averaged much more money than movies with such content.
The story was similar if you examine the Top 10 Home Video Sales in 2016 as of Nov. 2016 (the most recent date available).
For example, only one of the Top 10 Home Video Sales in 2016 was rated R, Deadpool. The Top 10 Movies Overseas in 2016 fared just as well, with only one R-rated movie, the Chinese movie The Mermaid.
The most family-friendly movies included such popular titles as Zootopia, The Jungle Book (2016), Finding Dory, the last Hunger Games movie, The Secret Life of Pets, and The Good Dinosaur, plus less successful titles such as Pete’s Dragon, War Room, Miracles from Heaven, Sing, Risen, God’s Not Dead 2, Queen of Katwe, and The Peanuts Movie. Dr. Baehr presented these and other highlights from Movieguide®’s 2017 Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, at the 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Movieguide® has been analyzing the content of movies and comparing box office numbers since 1991.
Last year, an InspireBuzz/NRG survey of parents showed that Movieguide® is what 1 in 3 parents use to choose what movie they watch. Making it the largest family review service.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard