A Religious Ephiphany in Hollywood: ‘The
Passion' Named Most Inspirational Movie of 2004
ANGELES – The winners for the prestigious $50,000 John Templeton
Foundation Epiphany Prizes for Inspiring Movies & TV were announced
recently at the 13th Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards
Gala in Beverly Hills, with Dr. John Templeton, Jr., presenting The
Passion of the Christ with the $50,000 Epiphany Prize for the most
inspirational movie of 2004.
“Every year, there is one movie that stands out from others for
powerfully impressing audiences with a clearer perspective of God,”
Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and chairman of the Christian Film & Television
Commission said, as he addressed the idea of the Epiphany Prize, which
he conceived along with Sir John Templeton. Dr. John Templeton, Jr., assisted
Dr. Baehr in awarding the prizes this year.
Jim Caviezel was on hand to accept the award, and in his remarks, spoke
to the idea of freedom. “Every generation of Americans needs to
know that freedom exists not to do what you like, but so you have the
right to do what you ought,” he said. “It’s going to
get hard and you’re going to want to work for the other team, but
don’t; just hang in there.”
The $50,000 Epiphany Prize for the most inspirational television program
of 2004 was awarded to Doc: “Happy Trails.” Writer/producer
David Alan Johnson said this recognition was a fitting end to the series,
which ends with this, its fifth season. “At some point in our lives,
goodness went out of style,” Johnson added. “We’re happy
to do shows where goodness is cool again.”
Rounding out the nominees for the film category were America's Heart
and Soul, Louis Schwartzberg’s collection of stories featuring
the real people who make America what it is; I am David, based
on the book North to Freedom by Anne Holm and featuring Jim Caviezel
in a secondary role; Ladder 49, the fire/rescue drama starring
John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix; and The Reckoning, featuring
Paul Bettany and based on novelist Barry Unsworth's Morality Play.
Other television shows nominated for the prize included A Christmas
Carol, made into a musical starring Kelsey Grammar and brought to
the small screen by NBC and Hallmark; Love's Enduring Promise,
a Hallmark original movie based on the novel by Janette Oke; Patrick,
the story of Saint Patrick, narrated by Liam Neeson; The Question
of God, a documentary debate between the perspectives of C.S. Lewis
and Sigmund Freud; and Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story,
a Fox made-for-TV movie starring Jamie Foxx as the reformed gang leader.
Each year at Oscar time, the Templeton Foundation bestows Epiphany Awards
to films and television programs that are both well-crafted and have redeeming,
spiritual content that, above all, help increase man’s understanding
and love of God. With a prize of $50,000 in each category, the Epiphany
Award is designed to encourage producers to create more movies and television
that have a positive and values-based message. This is the ninth year
the prizes have been awarded. Previously, they have been valued at $25,000,
but this year were increased to $50,000.
Other awards given at the gala included the Grace prize for inspired
acting in a film or television program. These awards went to Jim Caviezel
in the film category, and to Jamie Foxx for his portrayal of Stan Tookie
Williams in Redemption.
The “Teddy Bear” awards for the top ten family films of the
year went to:
1. The Incredibles
3. Shrek 2
4. A Cinderella Story
5. Two Brothers
6. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
7. America's Heart and Soul
8. The Polar Express
9. I Am David
10. Princell Diaries 2
Top ten films for mature audiences included:
1. Spider-Man 2
2. The Terminal
3. The Passion of the Christ
5. Hotel Rwanda
6. Raising Helen
7. Ladder 49
8. The Reckoning
10. The Ladykillers
Courtesy of A. Larry Ross Communications
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