Friday, February 23, 2007

TOPIC: Hollywood to Host International Prayer Event for Christians in Entertainment
An international prayer event will take place in Hollywood for Christians involved in the entertainment industry. Led by London members of Artisan Initiatives and a team from the Hollywood Prayer Network, the event will encourage people to pray for the industry, all the Oscar nominees and for Hollywood itself. The prayer event will be held during the Oscars weekend Saturday 24 February at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church from 6pm-9pm (PST).
Recently, Hollywood star Jennifer Hudson raised the bar of Christianity in Hollywood as she celebrated her success in the week leading up to the Academy Awards at her family’s church. The Oscar-nominated Dreamgirls’ actress said: “I’m not having no club party; I better have a praise party.” Hudson, 25, headlined a gospel concert, “An Evening of Praise With Jennifer Hudson”, accompanied by the acclaimed Soul Children of Chicago.

Speaking of Hollywood...
Top Hollywood Filmmakers Share Desire for Faith-Based Movies
Some of the biggest behind-the-scenes names in Hollywood film production have shared their dream to make more faith-based movies that eschew violence for violence sake and instead embrace great spiritually uplifting stories with positive content. Movieguide, an established family guide to movies and entertainments in the US, brought top producers and filmmakers in Hollywood together to share their thoughts on faith-based moviemaking at two special Movieguide Panels, reports Assist News.
"I want to do something that I can be proud of, that my children can be proud of," said panel member Leo Severino, formerly with the Producers Guild of America and the Fox Networks Group and first-time producer of Bella, a family-friendly Christian movie that became the surprise winner of the Audience Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival in September, 2006. "Good stories with good content. Beauty, art and morality go together,” he said during the panels, held at the recent Screenwriting Expo 5 in Los Angeles and sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Severino pointed out that filmmakers spend huge amounts of time working on perfecting the colour and lighting of each shot but challenged, “How much time is spent on the moral content of a movie?"
The founder of Movieguide and author of So you want to be in pictures, Dr Ted Baehr, led the panels. "People want to see good news at the movies. People don't want violence for violence sake,” he said, adding that China and Muslim countries, which represent at least 50 per cent of the world’s population, do not allow sex or violence in their movies or on TV.
Joel T. Smith is a writer, producer and distributor who has worked on the TV movie Merlin and the TV series Tarzan. "There's a universality to Christian ethics that can be appreciated by many people," he said. "Christian products have universal themes that people in Spain, Germany and Scandinavia can relate to."
Dr Baehr also pointed out that films with morally and spiritually uplifting content and with positive Christian values and elements enjoy the greatest success at the box office. "People want good to triumph over evil. The average person wants to see people with hope." Smith said, however, that it was pointless to criticise the Hollywood studio executives for their overriding interest in money. "You don't criticise a tiger for having stripes," he pointed out. "Ninety per cent of independent movies don't make money [but] the Internet will open channels that aren't there just yet."
Dr Baehr ended with a core message for writers, producers and filmmakers who dream of making more faith-based films. "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever,” he said, citing Daniel 12:3 and Ephesians 5:1-3 of the Bible. He continued: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." Dr Baehr said: "Don't stoop to conquer.
Other panel members include: Will Davies, Rob Hudnut, David Sams and Casey Wolfe.

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