New 'mom-approved' home video club reels in family values

Patty Leonard is a suburban mom on a crusade: to put the true meaning of 'Family' back into family entertainment. Having worked as a distributor in the film industry for years, Leonard has packaged thousands of films and programs for home video. She's also seen the destructive influence of movies and television on American families from the front lines. But it was only when she became a mom for the first time that she herself despaired at the lack of a dependable source of true "family" entertainment.

With an impressionable daughter to think about, she found that most TV programs and movies describing themselves as "family" could only mean the word had lost all reasonable meaning in Hollywood. On television, what was once considered the "family hour," was way out of the question; and, in theatres, even Walt Disney himself could no longer be trusted to provide acceptable G-rated content.

With ready access to a world of films and videos outside the Hollywood mainstream, Leonard set about collecting movies she could bring to her family. Sharing those films with like-minded friends and relatives, she quickly learned how much wholesome films with positive messages serve to enhance a family's faith, values, bonds and sense of togetherness.

"I decided to focus all my professional abilities toward strengthening families and communities the best way I knew how," Leonard said in a news release. "And for me that was by finding films that affirmed the values of faith in God and family that serve as the foundation of a strong nation."

The result of Leonard's professional epiphany is a service called "Family Values Cinema," where subscribers receive two family films each month. The films are fun for audiences from 8 to 80 and each comes with a family discussion starter-kit designed for parents to spark conversation with their children about thought-inspiring moments and issues on which the film touches.

Unlike Netflix or other monthly home video programs, customers keep all the movies received from Family Values Cinema in order to build their own home DVD library.

Leonard said the service is a huge time saver for parents who have become disheartened "by the content of today's movies and television programming."

"With our program there's no more wasting time in the video store or surfing for reviews on the net," the video mom said. "We preview thousands of films and pick each one with your family in mind."

To ensure the suitability of the films, Family Values Cinema works closely with The Dove Foundation, which uses its "Family-Approved" Seal to designate entertainment products that are appropriate for family viewing.

"I have been waiting a long time for a program like this," Dick Rolfe, Dove founder and chairman, said in a news release. "Research by the Barna Group has shown that there is little discernable difference between the movie-going habits of Christians and non-Christians, and that is a tragedy. We hope to encourage Christian families to see movie-going as an experience that can be shared by the whole family; one that will teach important lessons and help teach values of faith and family that can be passed on to the next generation."

The cost for two collectible movies, two discussion guides, plus the shipping and handling, is $19.95 a month.

For more information, or to sign up for Family Values Cinema's monthly service, visit familyvaluescinema.com or call 1-800-768-9602.

ANS