|Back to April Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 255||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||APRIL 2007|
|Movieguide Awards Gala Honors Movies for Families and Adults|
At the event, Movieguide's founder, Dr. Ted Baehr, also presents a "Report to the Entertainment Industry," analyzing the state of entertainment and demonstrating that uplifting and family-friendly movies appeal to the American public and are more profitable to the industry than other movies.
The data on movies over the past several decades show that Hollywood is listening and responding to moviegoers' interest in family-friendly movies. In 1985, only 6% of movies released in theaters were intended for family audiences. By 2002, that proportion rose to 45%. The proportion of R-rated movies has seen a corresponding decline, from 81% of movies in 1985 to less than 45% each year since 2001. R-rated movies keep making less money, as well; only two R-rated movies were among the top 20 grossing movies in 2005.
Movieguide also reports that since the first Faith & Values Awards Gala in 1993, "the number of movies with morally uplifting, biblical and/or positive Christian content has more than tripled." Movies like The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Gospel of John have recently demonstrated that films that engage with Christianity can reach a wide audience. There has also been a significant increase in movies that are not overtly Christian, but engage themes of redemption, sacrificial love, righteousness, or hope. Such themes now appear more often in movies for mature audiences as well as in movies for families.
We all know that certain movies and television programs have continued to reach new depths of nihilism, and corresponding sexual immorality and violence. Yet it is also true that the industry now frequently explores themes of redemption and restoration along with the old themes of human degradation and hopelessness.
Movieguide and its affiliate, the Christian Film & Television Commission, are "dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become media-wise, so they can choose the good and reject the bad." Besides the Awards Gala, Movieguide accomplishes its goals through publishing hundreds of reviews, articles and interviews each year, online and in its print magazine. Its TV and radio shows reach a worldwide audience.
This year, Charlotte's Web topped the list of best films for families in 2006. The Nativity Story received the $50,000 John Templeton Foundation Award for most inspiring film, and The Pursuit of Happyness received the Libertas Award for promoting positive American values.
Movieguide also encourages promising screenwriters through the John Templeton foundation Kairos Prize for spiritually uplifting screenplays. The Kairos Prize awards $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 to the writers of the top three screenplays. Perhaps even more importantly for the writers, major industry executives will now read their scripts and consider producing them. For Dr. Baehr, this prize is about "having great scripts with spiritually uplifting themes developed into films, giving audiences everywhere more of the types of movies they truly enjoy, making it a win-win for both Hollywood and the movie-going public."
For more information about Movieguide, visit www.movieguide.org. See our sidebar for the top ten movies for families and mature audiences in 2006.