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
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
"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
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
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.
SOURCE The Christophers