HOLLYWOOD – In what may appear to be an extraordinary twist, nearly 50 movie stars and film producers gathered to celebrate faith, family and inspirational films at the Hollywood awards show often hailed as the “Christian Oscars.”
WND was on the scene Feb. 10 as Movieguide hosted its 20th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry at the Universal Hilton Hotel near the heart of Hollywood – where a number of popular films won awards for their morally uplifting content.
Dr. Ted Baehr, a media critic, founder and publisher of Movieguide and a champion of uplifting Hollywood movies with Christian worldviews, takes on the giants of the industry every year and inspires filmmakers to produce exemplary and clean films.
Each of the stars and producers lined up on the red carpet to speak exclusively with WND about the significance of creating inspirational and family friendly films – and America’s need for more of them.
Actors Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, “American Idol” contestants, some of Hollywood’s top producers and several up-and-coming Disney stars said they were both proud and excited to celebrate the industry’s wholesome films.
“I support Dr. Baehr and the things he’s trying to do with film,” said gala host Dean Cain, best known for his role as Superman and Clark Kent in the series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” “I think it’s fantastic, and I’m honored that he wants me to be part of this. … As an actor, you want to play all kinds of diverse roles and be in all sorts of films. As a parent – I have an 11-year-old son – it’s important the kind of projects I am doing because I want him to see my work. I want to make films that will teach him a lesson and show him a way to behave, a way to react to a situation or a way to overcome an obstacle. A lot of those films tend to be those that are honored by Movieguide.”
Emmy Award winner Michael Berk, whose latest big-screen venture is “Soul Surfer” – Movieguide’s pick for Best Family Film and a true story about surfer Bethany Hamilton’s courage following a 2003 shark attack in which she lost her arm – told WND he “tremendously” supports Movieguide’s mission of celebrating inspirational films and believes truly great movies have real-world lessons.
“Some films may have a curse word in them, or they may have anger or may have other things situations people have to overcome to get to where they want to go,” he explained. “Even if there is a movie where someone is addicted, but they come out of it in the end, that is a good lesson. It can’t just be all Disney all the time. It has to be emotional.”
Actor Kevin Sorbo, best known for his roles as Hercules in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” Capt. Dylan Hunt in “Andromeda” and Kull in “Kull the Conqueror,” told WND he believes America deserves more quality movies that the whole family can enjoy.
“We need more of them!” Sorbo declared. “Reality TV has got to go away. There are enough movies that portray such a negative side of life, and for whatever reason, Hollywood seems to glamorize that. People ultimately want to see good triumph over evil. Most people really do. They don’t want to live in a dark place. When they go to movies, they want to see the positive. They want to see that there is real hope out there and there’s a real chance to have a positive impact in life, rather than being negative about things all the time.”
Teresa Scanlan, crowned Miss America in 2011, said: “As Miss America, this is really everything I try to exemplify as well: the classic American traditions, iconic morals and values that we hold dear in this country. That’s everything tonight is about, and it’s what we’re celebrating. The more we can do to support this work, the better off we will be.”