HOLLYWOOD, Calif. Last year's top 10 family movies and programs will be feted Feb. 20 at the 15th Annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The event, which organizers said will tout "high-performance movies that matter," also includes an annual industry report and the presentation of two $50,000 prizes to the winners of the John Templeton Foundation Epiphany Prizes for Inspiring Movies and TV, and a $25,000 prize for the top winner of the John Templeton Foundation Kairos Contest for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by First-Time Screenwriters.
"This is shaping up to be the best, most spectacular Awards Gala yet," Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide, said in a news release.
Crystal Teddy Bears will be presented to winners in the Ten Best Family Movies, the most inspirational movies and television programs, and the Ten Best Movies for Mature Audiences categories.
As in other Hollywood award ceremonies, many celebrities from the entertainment world will be on hand to hand out the prizes to the studio executives, producers, directors, and screenwriters responsible for bringing these morally uplifting and inspiring projects to the public.
"The gala is the best chance, and often the only chance, to bring faith and values, including the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the most powerful people in Hollywood," Baehr said, noting that by the time the average American child reaches 17, he has spent more than 60,000 hours with the mass media, but only 11,000 hours at school, 2,000 hours with their parents and 900 hours of church, if their family attends once a week.
"They are the ones in our culture who have the biggest impact on our children and grandchildren," Baehr, who is also founder and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission ministry.
Understanding the value of the wallet, the pro-family Baehr publishes his Movieguide's Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry as a way to educating the publicand industry officialsabout the profitability of clean films.
"The number of values-based films has grown almost exponentially," Stephen Collins, star of TV's most popular family show, "7th Heaven," said in a news release. "Ted's message has gotten to people. I remember the first time I heard it. I thought, 'Wow, it's really interesting to see that there's money to be made in family entertainment.' That's what people listen to in this town. It doesn't mean you're going to make the cover of a lot of hot magazines, but if you're looking to make money and get a film out and get a message out, this is the best way to do it. And, Ted proves that again and again, year after year, with nuts and bolts figures, which I love."
His 50-page printed document shows that family-friendly movies and movies with strong and very strong moral values, biblical principles, and positive Christian content sell the most tickets at the box office and earn the most money in DVD sales and rentals, by far.
"Dr. Baehr's report doesn't go unnoticed in Hollywood," said John Gatins, writer, director of such movies as "Dreamer" and "Coach Carter." "People study it."
Baehr, who has monitored the industry for decades, said change is slowly revealing itself on screens little and big.
"Recently, a producer of one of the worst movies for teenagers ever made told me that he decided to produce only family-friendly and Christian movies in the future.
"Why did he decide this? He said that it was the Annual Report to Hollywood that convinced him and his business partners to change their ways, by showing them that movies with family-friendly, morally uplifting, redemptive, and pro-Christian content make the most money."
Nearly every studio now has a division working on family movies as well as a division working on movies with biblical, Christian content, Baehr said.
The gala is open to the public. For tickets or tables, call 1-800-577-6684. For more information, visit movieguideawards.com.
Assist News Service contributed to this report.