PO Box 2126
Garden Grove, CA 92842
CHRISTIAN MEDIA EXPERT, TED BAEHR, PRAISES HOLLYWOOD
FOR MAKING MORE MOVIES FEATURING GOD AND THE BIBLE IN 1998
Jefferey Katzenberg of DreamWorks Gets Special
Kudos for Consulting Christian Leaders on PRINCE OF EGYPT
By Dan Wooding and Tom Snyder
Hollywood, Calif. (March 4, 1999)- Dr. Ted
Baehr, founder and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commision,
praised Hollywood today for making more movies in 1998 that feature God
and the Bible.
"There were more movies with a moderate to strong
Christian worldview and content released in 1998 than ever before- 26 to
be exact," Dr. Baehr noted enthusiastically. "that's almost twice as much
as 1997's number, 14! If we add the 49 movies with clear Christian worldview,
elements and/or content, then 1998 saw a whopping 75 movies with Christian
elements, worldview and content out of all the movies released!"
"Moreover," Dr. Baehr added, "34 movies featured
a moderate to strong moral worldview and content based on biblical principles,
compared to only eight in 1997. And, 146 movies contained some form of
moral worldview and content in 1998, compared to only 94 in 1997."
The Commission's figures were based on its critical
reviews and extensive content analysis of 286 movies released theatrically
in 1998. The Commission publishes its reviews and analysis in MOVIEGUIDE,
the highly respected media guide known for its comprehensive family-oriented
film and television reviews and commentaries. Dr. Baehr is publisher and
editor-in-chief of MOVIEGUIDE.
"AND THE SEA PARTED"
Dr. Baehr singled out studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg
of DreamWorks SKG, for consulting Baehr and other Christian leaders while
making THE PRINCE OF EGYPT.
"PRINCE OF EGYPT was an answer to a prayer, a significant
breakthrough and a blessing," Dr. Baehr explained. "It marked the first
time since the Golden Age of Ho;;ywood that Hollywood took the time to
listen to religious leaders, experts and theologians. DreamWorks' Jeffrey
Katzenberg deserves thanks and praise for seeking out the advice of advocates
and experts. He also deserves thanks for bringing the Church into the Hollywood
marketplace by seeking out Christian publishers."
Dr. Baehr said 1998 was also the year of great Christian
theology in movies.
"THE PRINCE OF EGYPT demonstrated the power of the
creator God," he said, "not only over life, death and the elements but
also over the false gods of the world. SIMON BIRCH showed that God is more
concerned about people than about bake sales and church events. WIDE AWAKE
showed that God is with us in times of grief. MADELINE demonstrated that
God answer prayer. LES MISERABLE showed that the law leads to us to God's
Grace. THE TRUMAN SHOW showed that the prince of this world cannot keep
God out and that God answers prayer. And, the list goes on and on and on,
"The good, such as THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, was clearly
so good," Dr. Baehr added, "that I felt like God was shouting from housetops
to the millions of faithful Americans, "Let my people go!" But, the immoral
movies were so bad that I felt like God was shouting to a few filmmakers,
just as Flik told Hopper and his small band of marauding grasshoppers,
"Let my people go!"
"Many people were liberated by seeing movies such
as THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, LES MISERABLES, WIDEAWAKE, MADELINE, and SIMON
BIRCH where God was the hero behind the scenes. While others, regrettably,
remained trapped and manipulated in a virtual media world by those adversarial
directors who thought of themselves as the "kings of the world." To which
group you belonged depended on whether or not you were a media-wise family
who read MOVIEGUIDE so that you knew before you or your children forked
over your hard-earned dollars at the box office."
Baehr concluded, "From an industry perspective, it
was also a great joy to see Hollywood release several movies which came
out clearly against divorce, such as THE HORSE WHISPERER, DEEP IMPACT and
THE PARENT TRAP, and several romances which were not based on lust but
on intellect, values and beliefs, such as EVER AFTER and YOU'VE GOT MAIL.
Furthermore, it was great to see anti-collectivist, anti-fascist movies
using incisive humor rather than excessive violence, such as ANTZ, and
the wonderful, pro-family masterpiece, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL."
MOVIEGUIDE AWARDS TO BE TELEVISED BY PAX TV
Dr. Baehr also announced that MOVIEGUIDE will present
its 7th Annual MOVIEGUIDE Awards Gala on Thursday, March 18,
1999, beginning at 12 noon, at the Hilton Universal, Universal City, California.
PaxTV, the new national television network dedicated to wholesome, family-friendly
programming, will televise this year's event for the first time.
Baehr said, "PaxTV is America's newest network, and
now owns the greatest number of TV stations in the U.S. MOVIEGUIDE and
PaxTV, in joining together for this event, will reach what is probably
the largest family audience in the country, the more than 110 million people
who attend church each week."
The theme of the awards event will be "Celebrating
The Century: The best of Hollywood," a look at Hollywood's contributions
to wholesome entertainment over the decades. Each decade will be highlighted
with personal appearances by some of Americas best-known and most loved
show business personalities.
A major part of the program will be the awarding
of the Epiphany Prizes - which include a $25,000 cash award each - for
the movie and television show "that is uplifting, inspirational and acknowledging
of God, His love, mercy and grace." The Epiphany Prizes were originated
and are donated each year by the John Templeton Foundation , to encourage
writers and producers to create more inspiring works of entertainment.
Other awards will include two grace Prizes, for $1,000
each, for outstanding individual performances by an actor in film and television,
sponsored by Morgan H. Grace, Jr., the Swiss America Awards for television
programs evidencing outstanding principles and values, and MOVIEGUIDE's
annual Teddy Bear Wards for the best films for mature audiences and family.
Always a newsmaking part of the event is Dr. Baehr's
annual "Report to the Entertainment Industry," an extensive, probing analysis
of movies and television. Dr. Baehr's report is unique because it is an
in-depth study of the moral, religious and political convent of the past
movies, using box office statistics.
For more information about the March 18 Awards Gala
or MOVIEGUIDE, please call: (800) 899-6684, or write: MOVIEGUIDE, P.O.
Box 190010, Atlanta, GA 31119.