Ted Baehr, the CEO of Movieguide, said why he thinks Hollywood should make more family-friendly films in a recent interview. The time has come, once again, for awards to be given recognizing the many achievements in film. While the Academy Awards take center stage, the prestigious MovieGuide Awards have come a long way as well. Unlike the Oscars, the Movieguide Awards shine light on the advancement of family-friendly entertainment in the industry.
As a bevy of stars passed by him on the red carpet at the star-studded Movieguide®’s 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala, on Friday, February 10th, at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, the man behind it all, Dr. Ted Baehr, revealed why Hollywood so welcomes family-friendly movies.
It’s quite simple, Baehr says, it’s because these films “make money.”
Baehr, a renowned media expert and Chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, and publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Movieguide®, went on to say, “I think the skepticism has not been in Hollywood because you remember we had Dick Cooke and Russel Schwartz, and all of these studio people at the very first awards ceremony all those years back, have always been encouraging and a blessing. The reason is that they’re interested in making money.
“So if they see that there’s a big audience out there, that’s what they’ll go for. And we have showed them in our reports that about seven times more people go to church each week than go to movies. So Hollywood has always been our friends.”
“It Never Rains in Southern California” – not true
Back in 1972, British-born singer-songwriter, Albert Hammond, released the hit song, “It Never Rains in Southern California,” but it looks like he was wrong, because on Friday night, as they limos pulled into the hotel area, and umbrellas were produced to keep the stars dry, the rain kept pouring down, showing that it actually does rain here. (And we welcome that!)
But not even that put a damper on the glittering event, also known as “The Christian Oscars,” because is always held close to the Academy Awards — this year the 89th on Sunday, February 26, 2017 — honors the best, most family-friendly movies and television programs honoring God and inspiring audiences with messages of faith, hope, goodness, justice, redemption, forgiveness, and true divine love.
And, as he does each year, Dr. Baehr presented his much-awaited highlights from Movieguide®’s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, a comprehensive financial analysis of the movie business showing what kinds of movies and what kinds of movie content moviegoers favor the most with their hard-earned money.
But, before that, he gave me an interview for my “Inside Hollywood with Dan Wooding” TV show on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network.
Dr. Baehr talked about how his humble first Movieguide® occasion what took place a quarter of a century ago, first came about.
“The first event was a little press conference at the Hollywood Press Club, which I think has since been closed down,” he said. “But anyway, it was a wonderful occasion, especially because I thought nobody would show up [but many did, including myself].
“Two people inspired it: One was broadcaster, Warren Duffy, who organized that first event, and the other was Sir John Templeton.” [Templeton was an American-born British stock investor, businessman and philanthropist, who started the John Templeton Foundation, who has supported the galas since their inception].
Baehr went on to say, “I grew up in the entertainment industry where my father was a star and my mother was also a star. I drifted around in the entertainment industry and then suddenly I came to faith and I said to myself: ‘How can we create more movies and entertainment that are good?’ I’ve been head of the organization that did THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE on CBS television.
“Sir John Templeton once told me, ‘You attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.’ And he was right, because when we started the award ceremony there were only 10% of films that had positive faith-based content and only a handful of family films. Now it’s up to about 40% of family films, so you’ve got one a week. It’s up to 64% Christian and even ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA’ is going to a cathedral in England, so it’s all good news.”
I asked Dr. Baehr what had been some favorites in recent times, and he replied: “There have been a flood of movies that are great in terms of faith-based movies. You’ve got RISEN, YOUNG MESSIAH, BEN-HUR, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN and SILENCE. In terms of family movies, you’ve got ZOOTOPIA, SING, just a whole slew of them.
He added, “Of the top-ten movies, six of them are Movieguide® Award nominees.”
Dr. Baehr then suggested that if people in the Church would like to receive reviews of current movies, they should go to Movieguide’s website, and he also said that he gives training courses to those interested in working in Hollywood.
Hollywood presents an incredible opportunity for Christians to use their talents to glorify God, as well as make Him known. We need more actors, actresses, producers, directors, composers, and screenwriters in Hollywood who honor God in everything they do. Movieguide is helping do that!
Click here to see the Movieguide Awards website!