The Young Messiah and Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love took home the top honors at Movieguide®'s 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala, held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.
They won the respective Epiphany Prizes for 2016's Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program that "greatly increases man's love and understanding of God."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Expendables actor Terry Crews emceed the evening, which attracted more than 150 honorees and representatives from Hollywood. This year's theme was "The Inspired Life."
Other top winners at the awards included Hacksaw Ridge, God's Not Dead 2, Miracles From Heaven and three TV movies, The Bridge Part 2, A Time to Dance and Operation Christmas.
Grace Award winner Adam Greaves-Neal, Director-writer Cyrus Nowrasteh, writer Betsy Griffin-Nowrasteh and Producer Terry K. Price accepted the award for The Young Messiah.
Speaking for The Young Messiah cast and crew, Price said, "This was an elaborate journey. This film got shut down, and I made a commitment to the people that were involved that I would either get it done or die in the process, and did a little of both. So, thank you so much for this recognition.
"I can't thank Adam enough and his mom for making the trip, my daughter who was part of the film, Cyrus and Betsy, I call them Cyrus B. DeMille. So if you want an epic movie, Cyrus B. DeMille is the guy. Betsy wrote the scene with Mary and Jesus under the tree, which I think is, at least according to Chris Columbus, one of the five most beautiful moments ever put on film. And if you haven't seen it, I would encourage all of you to take a look at The Young Messiah."
Accepting for Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love was 9-year-old Alyvia Alyn Lind, who played Dolly Parton as a young child in the movie.
"Thank you so much!" Alyvia exclaimed. "We're so happy for this ... this movie's so amazing. I'm so honored that it got to win tonight."
Executive Producer Sam Haskell added, "This child brought iconic American Dolly Parton's childhood to life, and Alyvia will allow Dolly's legacy to live on forever.
"I want to thank God," Haskell continued. "I want to thank Ted Baehr and this incredible organization, the Movieguide® Awards. The people standing behind me are basically the wind beneath our wings. Just know that to stand in the light of God's grace and to show people who you really are is what it's about. That's who Dolly Parton is, and we love her, we appreciate her, and we cherish her. She is a servant of God, and we love telling the stories of her life. Thank you so, so much."
A highlight of the awards gala was Movieguide®'s presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Communicating and Living the Good News to the Rev. Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Family Channel, Regent University and Operation Blessing.
"Thank you, ladies and gentlemen," Rev. Robertson said after receiving a standing ovation. "Thank you so very much.
"I want to thank Ted Baehr and this wonderful organization for this honor you're giving me. It's been a thrill. It's been a long journey, 55 years of broadcasting. I guess that's a long time. I've done 10,000 live television shows, 10,000 of them. You guys with these scripts should know, you do a movie, a week, a month, a year. I do five a week, but anyhow, that's the way it goes.
"God has blessed me. We are so privileged to live in this great land. We are so blessed. I've been all over the world. I've seen desperate poverty. I've seen suffering. I've seen leper colonies. I've been to people who were desperately poor, didn't have enough food to eat and done what I can to help them along the way.
"To realize when you come back to this nation, you get clean water, you take that for granted. Most people can't get it. I've been to India where they had to drink out of these feted pools that were just green and sickening, [but] we have fresh water, we have fresh air, we have delicious food. We have, even though the freeways are blocked up, roads that work. Most of them are dirt roads in other countries. We have so much here in this nation, and we are so blessed.
"In another month, I am going to be 87 years old! Praise God for His blessing and my life," Robertson concluded. "I've only got 13 more years to go, and I'll hit 100, and then I guess it's 110 after that, but whatever it is, thank you all. Ted, thank you. God bless all of you. God bless America."
One of the most passionate winner's speeches came from actress Faith Ford of The Bridge Part 2, who won the Grace Award for Most Inspiring TV Performance by an Actress.
"Well," she said, "first off, I'm gonna thank a being that's very important in my life, and that is God. I'm a granddaughter of a preacher, and [he] would be very proud right now.
"Karen Kingsbury wrote an amazing book that was inspirational, and in this time, we need lots of that. We need to be inspired. We need to think of who's coming up behind us, which is something I've always thought when I moved to New York when I was 17. I always thought about all those little girls and little boys and their parents and things they might be watching.
"My grandpa used to say, 'There's always someone watching over, you remember that.' I've always remembered that. ... Thank you so much, Movieguide®, and everyone."
Other winners of the Grace Awards for Inspiring Performances in Movies & TV included Adam Greaves-Neal, who played Jesus as a young boy in The Young Messiah, Melissa Joan Hart for God's Not Dead 2 and Devielle Johnson, who played a pastor and marriage counselor in A Time to Dance.
Miracles From Heaven won the Teddy Bear Award for Best Movie for Families, while God's Not Dead 2 won the Papa Bear Award for Best Movie for Mature Audiences.
Hacksaw Ridge won the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation's Faith & Freedom Award for Presenting Positive American Values in Movies, and the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel's television movie Operation Christmas won the Faith & Freedom Award for TV.
Taking home the $15,000 Kairos Prize for Beginning Screenwriters was Trisha Mammen from Daly City, California, for her script The Prayer Box.
The spiritually uplifting screenplay is about "a young boy who tries to catch God's attention by raiding the church prayer request box, and encounters the lives of people who will lead him to the very love he desperately needs."
The Kairos Pro Prize for Established Filmmakers went to a comedy/drama titled Donuts With Jerry, written by Ron and Mitzi Lynton-Peer from Phoenix, Arizona.
The story is about "a mysterious stranger who becomes stranded after a car accident in a small town at Christmastime, and becomes embroiled in the mayoral election between the ruthless businessman, who rules the town, and the feisty female owner of the donut shop."
The Kairos Prizes are given to the best, most inspiring screenplays that "greatly increase man's love or understanding of God."
Sponsored by Pure Flix Streaming, the prizes were presented by Pure Flix co-Founders David A.R. White and Michael Scott, the men behind God's Not Dead and the upcoming drama The Case for Christ.
During the 25th Annual Movieguide® Awards, founder and Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr presented Movieguide®'s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, which year in and year out shows Hollywood and the news media that TV viewers and moviegoers prefer movies and television programs with biblical, morally uplifting, faith-based, patriotic and conservative principles and values.
For example, Dr. Baehr reported that four of the top five movies at the box office worldwide in 2016 are Movieguide® Award-winning movies with positive Christian, biblical, morally uplifting, patriotic and strong conservative or traditional family-friendly values, including Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book, Finding Dory and Zootopia. All four movies appear in Movieguide®'s lists of the Top Ten Movies for Families or the Top Ten Movies for Mature Audiences.
The 80-page 2017 Report to the Entertainment Industry also notes that the patriotic TV program NCIS is not only the number-one TV drama in the United States but also overseas.
In addition, this year's Epiphany Prize winner, Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, was the most popular television movie by far last year. According to Nielsen's ratings, the movie's original telecast and a second broadcast in December were watched by 15.74 million people in the U.S.
That would be equivalent to $136.15 million at the weekend theatrical box office in the United States, using the average ticket price in 2016 of $8.65. By the way, this $136 million would place the Dolly Parton movie in the Top 20 Opening Weekends of all time!
"We use such figures to encourage Hollywood to make more Christian, family-friendly movies and television programs like Dolly Parton's TV movie," Dr. Baehr said.
Apparently, this strategy is working like gangbusters.
Since the Movieguide® Awards has been active in Hollywood, the number of family movies released by the entertainment industry has skyrocketed. Now, every major Hollywood movie studio, not just Disney, has a division devoted to making family movies.
Also, since the Movieguide® Awards began in 1993, according to Movieguide®'s annual report, the number of movies with strong Christian content has increased 296 percent! In addition, movies with strong Christian content have gone from earning less than $210 million each year at the box office in the United States and Canada to making more than $3.8 billion with a "b." Those figures don't even include overseas or home video earnings.
"By putting faith and values in your movies, you reach broader audiences," Dr. Baehr told the more than 150 attendees from the entertainment industry at the Movieguide® Awards.
"We just want to be humble, support you and encourage you," he added.
Dr. Baehr overtly preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Hollywood elite gathered at the 25th Annual Awards Gala.
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," he quoted from John 3:16, "that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ... The Good News isn't just about the vast future after death. It's actually about now. Jesus came that you might have life and have it abundantly [John 10:10]. He wants you to have the abundant life now. So, we want you to have the abundant life now."
Now in its 32nd year, Movieguide® is dedicated to "redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public, especially parents and children, about the influence of the entertainment media."
Movieguide®'s Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala honors the best, most family-friendly movies and television programs honoring God and inspiring audiences with messages of faith, hope, goodness, justice, liberty, redemption, forgiveness and true divine love.
You can watch the 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala & Report to the Entertainment Industry on Reelz TV on Easter April 16 at 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST.
Below is a complete list of all the winners and nominees chosen by the judges for Movieguide®'s 25th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry:
SPECIAL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Lifetime Achievement Award for Communicating and Living the Good News to: Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, The 700 Club and Operation Blessing
THE EPIPHANY PRIZES FOR INSPIRING MOVIES & TV
EPIPHANY PRIZE FOR MOST INSPIRING MOVIE OF 2016
Winner: THE YOUNG MESSIAH
Other nominees: HACKSAW RIDGE, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, GOD'S NOT DEAD 2, RISEN, SILENCE, BEN-HUR (2016), HAIL, CAESAR!
EPIPHANY PRIZE FOR MOST INSPIRING TV PROGRAM OF 2016
Winner: DOLLY PARTON'S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE
Other nominees: THE PASSION: NEW ORLEANS, THE BRIDGE PART 2, A TIME TO DANCE, OPERATION CHRISTMAS, POCAHONTAS: DOVE OF PEACE, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.LD.: SEASON 3: EPISODES: 20-22: Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension
TEN BEST MOVIES FOR FAMILIES
1 - MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN
2 - THE YOUNG MESSIAH
3 – SING
4 - THE JUNGLE BOOK (2016)
5 - FINDING DORY
6 - THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
7 – TROLLS
8 - QUEEN OF KATWE
9 – ZOOTOPIA
10 - PETE'S DRAGON (2016)
TEN BEST MOVIES FOR MATURE AUDIENCES
1 - GOD'S NOT DEAD 2
2 - HACKSAW RIDGE
3 - CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
4 – RISEN
5 – SILENCE
6 - BEN-HUR (2016)
7 - THE FINEST HOURS
8 – SULLY
9 - EDDIE THE EAGLE
10 - HAIL, CAESAR!
FAITH & FREEDOM AWARD FOR PROMOTING POSITIVE AMERICAN VALUES IN MOVIES*
Winner: HACKSAW RIDGE
Other Nominees: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, GOD'S NOT DEAD 2, SULLY, SING, QUEEN OF KATWE, HAIL, CAESAR!
FAITH & FREEDOM AWARD FOR PROMOTING POSITIVE AMERICAN VALUES IN TV*
Winner: OPERATION CHRISTMAS
Other Nominees: POCAHONTAS: DOVE OF PEACE, THE BRIDGE PART 2, DOLLY PARTON'S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, THE PASSION: NEW ORLEANS,
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.LD.: SEASON 3: EPISODES: 20-22: Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension
*Supported by a grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
GRACE AWARDS FOR MOST INSPIRING ACTING IN MOVIES
WINNING ACTOR: Adam Greaves-Neal for THE YOUNG MESSIAH
Other Nominees: Joseph Fiennes for RISEN, Robert Pike Daniel for HAIL, CAESAR!, David A.R. White for GOD'S NOT DEAD 2, Andrew Garfield for HACKSAW RIDGE, Cliff Curtis for RISEN, Rodrigo Santoro for BEN-HUR (2016), Josh Brolin for HAIL, CAESAR!
WINNING ACTRESS: Melissa Joan Hart for GOD'S NOT DEAD 2
Other Nominees: Kylie Rogers for MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, Jennifer Garner for MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN
GRACE AWARD FOR MOST INSPIRING ACTING IN TELEVISION
WINNING ACTOR: Devielle Johnson for A TIME TO DANCE
OTHER NOMINEES: Ted McGinley for THE BRIDGE PART 2, Tyler Perry for THE PASSION: NEW ORLEANS, Gerald McRaney for DOLLY PARTON'S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, Marc Blucas for OPERATION CHRISTMAS
WINNING ACTRESS: Faith Ford for THE BRIDGE PART 2
OTHER NOMINEES: Alyvia Alyn Lind for DOLLY PARTON'S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, Dolly Parton for DOLLY PARTON'S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, Natalia Cordova-Buckley for AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.LD.: SEASON 3: EPISODES: 20-22 - Emancipation, Absolution, Ascension
The Kairos Prizes, Sponsored by Pure Flix Streaming:
$15,000 Kairos Prize for Most Spiritually Uplifting Screenplay by a First-Time or Beginning Screenwriters
Trisha Mammen from Daly City, California, for her script THE PRAYER BOX
$15,000 Kairos Pro Prize for Most Inspiring Screenplay by an Experienced Filmmaker
Ron and Mitzi Lynton-Peer from Phoenix, Arizona, for their script DONUTS WITH JERRY
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