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Using the MOVIEGUIDE reviews of all the major theatrical feature films for a given year and the comprehensive MOVIEGUIDE review criteria, the judges of the Grace Prize ask first whether the performance is entertaining and astounding. Secondly, they ask whether the performance is primarily moral, redemptive and inspirational rather than merely humanitarian. For example, Jimmy Stewart's wonderful performance in Frank Capra's MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON emphasizes brotherly love, compassion and moral rectitude, but Charlton Heston's performance in BEN HUR is redemptive and inspirational and acknowledges God, His love, and His grace and mercy. Lastly, the judges ask whether this performance resulted in a great increase in our understanding and love of God's grace and mercy toward us as human beings.

To reiterate: The Grace Prize intends to encourage spiritual wisdom, knowledge and growth. We hope that by honoring these movie and television actors and actresses, millions of people will be uplifted and inspired to be enthusiastic about the further study and worship of the God of the Bible. We hope that the prize will encourage more dynamic and inspirational performances. We hope that more manpower and resources will be devoted to producing more uplifting and wholesome movies and television programs with traditional biblical themes. We hope that more actors and actresses will study and work for personal spiritual growth and progress. Progress comes in many forms and by their fruits you shall know them. 

Throughout history, great art, drama and communications, such as Handel's "Messiah" and Michelangelo's "Pieta," have been infused with a personal recognition of God and His love, mercy and grace. Now, in the mass media of entertainment progress is needed in understanding and loving God, just as such progress is needed in all other dimensions of human experience and endeavor. There has been a long departure, at least in Western culture, from the last synthesis when religion and art, drama and communications were organically related. The wider universe of the mass media of entertainment demands deeper awareness of the dimension of the spirit and of spiritual resources available for man, of the affinity of God, and of the divine knowledge and understanding still to be claimed. 

The Grace Prize for Inspiring Acting in Movies & Television serves to stimulate this quest for deeper understanding in religious knowledge by encouraging performances with a spiritual focus. We hope there will result from this enterprise a deeper spiritual awareness on the part of man, a better understanding of the meaning of life, heightened quality of devotion and love, and a greater emphasis on the kind of dedication that brings the human life more into concert with God's Will. 

In judging each movie and television actress, the judges take into account the criteria used by MOVIEGUIDE magazine to evaluate movies and television programs. This criteria includes looking at each movie and television program in each of the following ways and comparing the answers to biblical standards: 

  • Aesthetically: by looking at the artistic value of the performance just as other reviewers do. 
  • Emotively: by looking at how the performance captures and amuses the audience as entertainment and amusement. 
  • Semantically: by looking at the individual elements of the performance, such as words, nudity and incidents of violence, and their meanings just as many parents do. 
  • Syntactically: by looking at how the elements of the performance come together and how the pieces and characters relate to each other just as many teenagers and single adults do. 
  • Propositionally: by looking at what the performance is communicating. 
  • Generically: by comparing it to other performances. 
  • Morally: by looking at its moral perspective and content. 
  • Biblically: by looking at the biblical perspective and biblical principles in the performance. 
  • Psychologically: by looking at how the performance deals with mind and soul. 
  • Sexually: by looking at how the performance deals with sex and sexual relationships. 
  • Philosophically: by looking at the philosophical perspective and the worldview of the performance. 
  • Spiritually: by looking at how the performance deals with God, faith and religion.
The Grace Prize for Inspiring Acting in Movies & Television will be presented to the best movie performance of the preceding year or the best television program as determined by the judges using the criteria set forth herein. 

The Prize for the best movie or television performance which best displayed God's grace and mercy toward us as human beings, a sum in the amount of $1,000 or its equivalent. 

The judges shall be selected by The Christian Film and Television Commission and shall be top talent and executives in the entertainment industry who know and love God. Dr. Ted Baehr shall be the chairman of the committee of judges and shall select the judges. 

Official Information
The best performances shall be selected from the MOVIEGUIIDE reviews of theatrically released movies for the preceding year. The best performances shall be suggested by the judges and chosen according to the criteria outlined above. 

Rules and Guidelines 

Performances in completed productions, aired or screened before a live audience of at least one million people or more within the past calendar year, are eligible for consideration. Only those productions which are of a dramatic or documentary nature aimed at a broad entertainment audience and distributed, broadcast or cablecast by choice by a major motion picture distributor, television network or cable system will be considered for judging. 

Although they may be of the highest quality and deserving of commendation, performances in commercials, industrials, client-based or client-oriented productions, evangelistic programs, preaching programs, public service announcements, programs aimed at a narrow audience, programs aimed at a religious audience, music videos, instructional or educational productions, or specials (such as a videotaped telethon) are ineligible unless they are intended for a broad entertainment audience (as opposed to primarily intended to proselytize) and distributed, broadcast or cablecast by choice by a major motion picture distributor, television network, or cable system. 

Awarding of the Prize
The prize will be awarded annually at a predetermined place and time, which may vary from year to year. Specific details will be announced. Initially, the ceremony for the Grace Prize for Inspiring Acting in Movies & Television will be held in Los Angeles, CA, at the MOVIEGUIDE Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry. 

Prize Presentation Narrative 
The ceremony for the Grace Prizes for Inspiring Acting in Movies & Television will be an annual event to be held initially in Los Angeles, CA, concurrent with the dates of the MOVIEGUIDE Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry. 

One of the keys to proper establishment of the Prizes is publicity. The major benefit to the writers, directors and producers will be the extensive publicity; therefore, the public relations program will extend over several months. It is hoped that the publicity program will be very helpful to the actors and will encourage more wholesome and inspirational roles. 

The Christian and secular press will be contacted, with a barrage of information provided to these organizations for as extensive coverage as possible, for very little cost. Telephone and letter follow-ups will take place, and personal invitations will be made to selected press representatives to cover the Awards Ceremony.