The Christophers Honor Award Winners on April 10 59th annual gala to award feature films, books for adults and young people

and broadcast TV & cable programs that affirm the highest values of the

human spirit



    NEW YORK, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Cultural and historical diversity
 distinguish the 22 feature films, TV/cable programs and books for adults
 and young people set to be honored during the 59th annual Christopher
 Awards gala at the McGraw-Hill Building in New York City, on April 10, from
 6- 10 p.m.
 
     From the killing fields of Sierra Leone to a French kitchen as seen
 through the eyes of a hopeful rodent to hotbed of racism in the
 Depression-era South and the global foundations of spirituality, this
 year's slate of Christopher Award winners cover a broad spectrum but share
 a common denominator: They all "affirm the highest values of the human
 spirit."
 
     First presented by The Christophers in 1949, the Christopher Awards
 salute media that remind audiences and readers, of all ages and faiths, of
 their worth, individuality and power to positively impact and shape our
 world. To date, more than 1,300 films, books, broadcast TV and cable
 programs, produced by such luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Mike
 Nichols, Fred Rogers, Bruce Beresford, Ken Burns, Stephen E. Ambrose,
 Jonathan Kozol, Joan Bauer, Lois Lowry, and Jerry Pinkney, have won
 Christopher Awards.
 
     "The Christopher Awards are about more than acknowledging artistic
 excellence," said Gerald M. Costello, interim director of The Christophers.
 "They applaud creative works that, in varied ways, emulate the Christopher
 credo: 'It's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.'"
 
     Fifty-five directors, screenwriters and producers will be honored for
 their work on six Feature Films -Amazing Grace; The Diving Bell and the
 Butterfly; The Great Debaters; Juno; The Kite Runner; and Ratatouille.
 
     The production teams responsible for five broadcast TV & Cable
 programs- Flashpoint: Kimberly Dozier and the Army's 4th I.D. -A Story of
 Bravery, Recovery and Loss (CBS-TV); In God's Name (CBS-TV); Longford
 (HBO); Pictures of Hollis Woods (CBS-TV); and The War miniseries (PBS/WETA
 Washington, DC)-will received Christopher Awards.
 
     The six winning Books for Adults include: Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge
 Danticat; The Florist's Daughter by Patricia Hampl; The Invisible Wall: A
 Love Story that Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein; The Lonely Patient: How
 We Experience Illness by Michael Stein, M.D.; A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a
 Boy Solider by Ishmael Beah; and A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to
 Freedom by David W. Blight.
 
     Five Books for Young People will be honored in age-specific categories.
 Preschool: Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things that Make Me Happy
 by Scott Menchin. Ages 6-8: How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret
 McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Ages 8-10: Owen & Mzee: The
 Language of Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff & Dr. Paula
 Kahumbu, with photos by Peter Greste. Ages 10-12: The Wild Girls by Pat
 Murphy. Young Adult: Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney.
 
     The program will also include the presentation of three meritorious
 awards. The 2008 Christopher Life Achievement Award recognizes Pulitzer
 Prize- winning author/historian David McCullough. Cardinal John P. Foley
 will receive the 2008 Christopher Leadership Award for more than four
 decades of distinguished service to church-media relations; and the 2008
 Special Christopher Award salutes "American Masters," from PBS
 Thirteen/WNET New York, for its 22 years of outstanding arts and culture
 programming.
 
     To be eligible for a Christopher Award, feature films, TV and cable
 programs, and books must exhibit exceptional artistic and technical
 proficiency, a significant degree of public visibility and, above all, they
 must affirm the highest values of the human spirit. Potential winners are
 nominated and reviewed throughout the year by panels of media
 professionals; members of The Christophers' staff with expertise in film,
 TV and publishing; and by professionally supervised children's reading
 groups.
 
     The Christophers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1945 by Maryknoll
 priest Father James Keller, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of
 service to God and humanity. The ancient Chinese proverb-"It's better to
 light one candle than to curse the darkness"- guides its publishing, radio
 and Awards programs.
 
 
Visit www.christophers.org to learn more about the Christopher Awards. Contact: Danielides Communications, Inc. Meghan Sitcoske 212-319-7566 Meghan@danielides.net

SOURCE The Christophers

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