8th Annual Movieguide ® Awards Gala

By: Dan Wooding; ©2000
The 8th annual Movieguide ® Awards Show will be held in Universal City, CA, on March 15, 2000. Dan Wooding explains the purpose of the Awards Gala, and highlights some of the past winners.


The 8th Annual Awards Show March 15 Also Will Reveal The Financial, Social Impact Of Movies In 1999 And Will Be Televised On PAX-TV

The real story of the millennium—Jesus Christ, and Hollywood’s portrayal of His life— will be a major part of the 8th Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry, to be held Wednesday night, March 15, 2000, at the Hilton Univer­sal Hotel in Universal City, California.

PAX-TV, the national network dedicated to wholesome family programming, in partner­ship with the Christian Film and Television Commission, plans to televise the glittering gala event. PAX Network is America’s seventh largest broadcast television network and owns the greatest number of television stations in the United States.

“Bud Paxson, the founder of PAX-TV, has told me that PAX-TV will be televising the awards show,” Dr. Baehr, chairman of the Commission and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE(r), said. “The awards show thus will reach what is possibly the largest family audience in the country – the more than 130 million Americans who go to church each week.”

Dr. Baehr founded the Christian Film and Television Commission in 1986 to educate the entertainment industry and the general public about the media’s impact on its audi­ences. MOVIEGUIDE® is the flagship entity of the Commission, appearing in print, radio, TV, and Internet versions.

“The reason we do the Gala,” Dr. Baehr explained, “is to celebrate the good films and programs from Hollywood and to help Hollywood and others know the concerns of Ameri­can families and to understand what families want and don’t want in their entertainment.”

In the Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, Dr. Baehr presents an extensive, probing and news-making economic analysis of the year’s films and television programs. The report shows the true box-office impact of family movies like TOY STORY 2 and re­demptive movies like The Green Mile. It also describes new trends in popular entertain­ment, insights into the business of entertainment, and the impact of religion, government and technology on the industry. Furthermore, it presents all the facts and figures to support MOVIEGUIDE’s® yearly analysis of all the year’s movies, their box office numbers and content…and Dr. Baehr’s projections for 2000.

“1999 was a pivotal year for the entertainment industry because it was the year when the children of the Baby Boomers came into their own in terms of impacting the box office,” Dr. Baehr said.

“Box office economics have changed,” he added, “from the simple fact that family films do better, to being more mixed. In 1999, teenage sex comedies showed their strength, with crude movies like American Pie and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me doing well. Also, occult supernatural thrillers like The Mummy, The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project made a great impact. As the year ended, however, and Toy Story 2 and The Green Mile came out, we see that, in the midst of this change, family movies and redemptive films and programs still do extraordi­narily well and can sweep the box office. That is the one constant that remains clear.

“Also in 1999, some important filmmakers decided to do family films or broad-audience movies. For example, playwright David Mamet, who had previously directed one of the most obscenity-laden movies of all time, Glengarry Glen Ross, decided to do The Winslow Boy, which was totally clean and pristine in its language and G-rated. Then, David Lynch (Blue Velvet), whom many people thought of as a bad boy of the film industry, decided to do Straight Story, a clean, wholesome and incredible tale of forgiveness. So, we had several unique changes in the entertainment industry in 1999.”

The real reason for the new millennium

Dr. Baehr said it is important for people to understand what the millennium is really all about “The meaning behind the new millennium is the fact that, 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus Christ (the defining moment in world history), the ministry of Christ is still having a tremendous impact on world culture. The most interesting thing is that, for the last 100 years, there have been an extraordinary number of movies, plays and other works of art focused on Jesus Christ. In fact, in 1897, the first Passion play was filmed. In 1898, there were three Passion plays filmed. In 1908, the first feature-length film, The Life of Christ, a three reeler from Pathe, featured a Passion play.

Then, in 1916, D. W. Griffith directed Intolerance, which featured a long segment on the life of Christ. The rest of the century included such great Christian epics as The King of Kings (1927), Quo Vadis (1951), Ben Hur (1958), Jesus of Nazareth (1978), and more.”

Dr. Baehr concluded, “The MOVIEGUIDE® Annual Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry gives us a chance to recognize and appreciate why the millennium is extraordinary and unique and what has made Jesus Christ the defining moment of the millennium. His impact on the film industry, the arts and world culture is a fact that every­one must understand, and celebrate.”

Highlights of the Gala

The 2000 Awards Gala will include a retrospective of film scenes showing the meaning of Jesus Christ for the millennium and also clips from the most powerful and successful movies reaching family audiences during 1999.

“The reason we are doing the retrospective,” Dr. Baehr said, “is not only to honor and celebrate these films but also to give a Christian perspective to the millennium.”

The MOVIEGUIDE® event, sponsored by the Christian Film and Television Commis­sion, “always commends the good works in Hollywood, rather than just faulting the bad,” Dr. Baehr added.

The Gala will honor MOVIEGUIDE’s® Top Ten Family Films and Top Ten Films for Mature Audiences. More than that, however, it will also feature the presentation of MOVIEGUIDE’s(r) $25,000 Epiphany Prizes, created and funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

“The purpose of the Epiphany Prizes,” Sir John Templeton said, “is to encourage the production of feature films and television programs which are uplifting and inspirational and which acknowledge God, His love, His mercy and His grace. We hope that, by honoring these movies and television programs, millions of people will be uplifted and inspired to be enthusiastic about the further study and worship of God.”

The Prince of Egypt from DreamWorks and the Here Comes Santa Claus episode of the WB Network’s 7th Heaven won the prestigious Epiphany Prizes for Most Inspiring Movie and Television Program at the MOVIEGUIDE(r) awards at last year’s gala.

Also featured at the Awards Gala is the Grace Prize, sponsored by Morgan H. Grace, Jr. The Grace Prize is presented annually to an actor or actors, each of whom, through his or her performance, best exemplifies God’s grace and mercy toward people as human beings. It includes a cash award as well as an art-sculpture trophy.

The Grace Prizes last year went to Ian Michael Smith for Simon Birch and Jim Carrey for The Truman Show.

As a prelude to this year’s Gala, MOVIEGUIDE® will publish a special Millennial Edi­tion in January focusing on Jesus Christ. Call 1-800-899-6684 in North America now to order your copy and a copy of the Annual Edition in March. MOVIEGUIDE® also offers an online subscription to its magazine, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 26 times a year, is full of reviews and articles that can help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers. Readers may also call 1-800-899-6684 to order THE ME­DIA-WISE FAMILY, Dr. Ted Baehr’s latest book, video and audio tape.

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