The 21st Annual Movieguide
Awards Gala hosted by Joe Mantagna (Criminal
Minds, The Godfather: Part III) and daughter Gia Mantagna (In the Land of Women, 13 Going on 30)
will air on the Hallmark Movie Channel Wednesday, March 6, at 7:00pm.
The gala and awards show draws major studio
executives and celebrities as they grace the red carpet lined with members of
the press and flashing lights, bringing the air of glamour expected within the
entertainment industry, but with one major difference--they arrive to be honored
for their choices in moviemaking that offer the viewing audience storylines
that uplift, inspire, and illustrate traditional values showcasing Good
triumphing over evil in a society plagued with messages to the contrary.
Dr. Ted Baehr founded Movieguide in 1985
when only 6% of movies were aimed at families, and 81% were rated R. Slasher movies, films depicting graphic
wartime and urban violence, and the rise of comedies featuring young people
partying hard while wearing next to nothing was the accepted
Dr. Baehr, a child of the entertainment
industry (he is the son of Robert Allen and Evelyn Peirce, two successful
stage, screen, and television actors), naturally entered into the business as a
producer, funding five films including the first film of Oliver Stone.
A friend confronted him over his
contribution to the rising acceptability of salacious material that had little
to no redeeming value or moral objective.
She pointed out that he was participating in reaching a viewing audience
with the message that anti-morality was to be revered, or, at the very least,
accepted. As he journeyed to find his
own heart in the matter he discovered that this was not where he wanted his
destiny to lie. As he searched deeper to
uncover his mind on the issues at hand, he discovered even more.
The movie industry was going global. Yet
two-thirds of the world doesn’t want (and some countries don’t even allow) sex
and violence depicted in film or television.
With only 6% of movies aimed at families, a huge market was being left
Dr. Baehr now travels the world presenting
statistical analysis based on Movieguide reviews, information that proves that
there is serious money to be made in family-friendly entertainment. His data
has received the attention of studio executives and filmmakers who keep their
ultimate goal clear and focused: They
want to make money.
With Dr. Baehr’s continued work, since 1985
the percentage of movies released in theaters that were aimed at families has
risen to 45%, and they grossed an average 200%
better than movies aimed at the adult
marketplace. Since 2001, less than 40%
of the major movies released were rated R, and in 2009 only two of the top-grossing films were rated
Dr. Baehr honors the entertainment industry
for “…demonstrating good business judgment and true artistic sensitivity by
listening to the voice of the vast movie going public who seek high moral
standards and redemptive values.”
He presents various honors at the
Movieguide Awards and Gala attended by major studio executives and celebrities
in categories somewhat different from typical awards shows. And rather than quickly mentioning each
nominee, he honors each one individually, even bringing them onstage and awarding
them for their nomination and contribution
to holding up faith and values within their project before announcing and
awarding the final winner.
The first category presented is Best Movies
for Family Audiences: Chimpanzee, Here
Comes the Boom, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Journey 2:
The Mysterious Island, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, The Odd Life of
Timothy Green, The Secret World of Arrietty, Won’t Back Down, and Wreck-It
Faith and Freedom Awards are given for
Promoting “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” in the mass media. This award is given for creating uplifting,
moral, insightful and compassionate entertainment that is well-crafted and
artistically genuine. Nominees in this
category for movies are Act of Valor, For
Greater Glory, Here Comes the Boom, Marvel’s The Avengers, Red Dawn (2012),
Won’t Back Down, Zero Dark Thirty.
Nominees in this category for television
include Blue Bloods: The Job, Criminal
Minds: The Fallen, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Harris Family Part 1 and 2,
A Smile as Big as the Moon, and Tim Tebow’s Wild Rise.
The Best Movies for Mature Audiences
include Act of Valor, The Amazing
Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les
Miserables, Marvel’s The Avengers, Men in Black 3, Red Dawn (2012), Skyfall,
and Snow White and the Huntsman.
The Grace Award is presented “to the actor
and actress who, through their performance, best exemplify God’s grace and
mercy towards us as human beings,” citing as inspiration the New Testament
verse from Ephesians 2:8-9 which reads, “For by Grace you have been saved
through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not the
result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Nominees for television include: Jeff Foxworthy for The American Bible Challenge, Tom Selleck for Blue Bloods: The Job, Paige Hemmis for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Harris Family, Part 1 and 2, and
Rockmond Dunbar and Kyla Kennedy for Raising
Movie nominees include: Andy Garcia and
Mauricio Kuri for The Greater Glory, Kevin
James for Here Comes the Boom, Hugh
Jackman and Colm Wilkinson for Les
Miserables and Kristen Stewart for Snow
White and The Huntsman.
Foster and Lynn Friess partner with
Movieguide creating the Friess Free Enterprise Prize “for the one movie that,
through fine craftsmanship and inspirational storytelling, does the most to
encourage appreciation of free markets, ownership, and stewardship.” The criteria for nominated movies is that
they must be inspiring, moral, and must show a positive or a more morally
balanced depiction of American enterprise than what we commonly see in the
Nominees for 2012 include: The Dark Knight Rises, Here Comes the Boom,
Jiro Dreams of Sushi, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Snow White and the Huntsman,
and Won’t Back Down.
The Epiphany Prize is given to the most
inspirational movie and television program.
Nominees for movies are: For
Greater Glory, Les Miserable’s, Lincoln, The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Snow White and the Huntsman. For television: The
American Bible Challenge, Blue Bloods: The Job, Married to Jonas: Prom Night
with the In-Laws, Raising Izzie, and Tim
Tebow’s Wild Rise.
The gala and awards show was filmed
February 15, and LifeinLA thoroughly enjoyed participating in an evening that
left every guest fulfilled and excited about the many positive things going on
in Hollywood. The black-tie event was
exquisitely set with every detail attended to perfection. The celebrities were fashionably and
elaborately dressed, leaving no room for disappointment and no shortage of
opportunities to be thoroughly star-struck by the glow of their presence.
Celebrities of note for this fan-girl
include Jerry Mathers of Leave it to
Beaver fame (LOVED both Mr. Mathers and his lovely wife), Joe Mantagna (a
very kind presence—he looked fabulous!), Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio from
General Hospital!), Corbin Bernsen (love him in Psyche), and the breathtaking Mr. Andy Garcia (my knees are still
It was a joy to meet fresh, enthusiastic rising
stars such as C.J. Perry, a Bella in Pitch
Perfect. She is refreshingly
grounded and a quadruple-threat with accomplished talent in acting, singing,
dancing and modeling—she was the Miller Lite Poster Girl for NASCAR in 2011 and
is currently the spokes model for the Red Bull motocross division.
Eloy Mendez, a friend to LifeinLA,
attended, and we got to hear about his recent experiences at the Sundance Film
Festival with the film C.O.G., and see his enthusiasm about his upcoming
projects. This is a talent to follow.
I also enjoyed a conversation with Farshad
Farahat of the Academy Award Best Picture winner Argo, asking him what he intends to do with his success. It was inspiring to hear his thoughts on
attaining peace in the Middle East through non-violent resistance.
Musical entertainment included The McClain
Sisters, Gloria Loring, The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los
Angeles (a true show-stopper—powerful performance!), Brandon and Savannah and
Ruben Studdard (American Idol).
Gather the entire family for an evening of
uplifting entertainment and glimpses of some of the works presented to viewing
audiences as the nominees and winners are highlighted. The Movieguide Awards and Gala will air on
the Hallmark Movie Channel Wednesday, March 6, at 7:00pm. For more information you can go to www.hallmarkmoviechannel.com, or www.movieguideawards.com. The 21st Annual Movieguide Awards
and Gala show was held at the Universal Hilton located at 555 Universal
Hollywood Dr., Universal City, CA.