Christopher Awards Honors Books, Films and TV/Cable Programs
By JULIANN DosSANTOS
Photo courtesy of The Christophers
AWARD WINNERS—Msgr. Peter Finn, member of the board of directors of The Christphers, presents the TV and Cable award to Mother Dolores Hart and her friend Judith Pinco for the HBO documentary “God is the Bigger Elvis.” Mother Dolores, who is the subject of the documentary, accepted on behalf of Rebecca Cammisa, director and producer; Julie Anderson, producer; Sara Bernstein, supervising producer; and Sheila Nevins, executive producer.

It’s hard not to feel inspired by the award-winning books, films, and television and cable programs of the 64th annual Christopher Awards presented May 23 to writers, producers, directors and illustrators whose work affirms the highest values of the human spirit.

“The creative forces behind the projects we’re honoring are improving our culture by telling stories that awaken hope instead of despair, acknowledge the necessity of sacrifice in the service of a greater good, and light a candle rather than curse the darkness,” said Tony Rossi, the director of communications for The Christophers.

The awards ceremony was held May 23 at the Mutual of America building in Manhattan.

Among the winners was the HBO documentary “God Is the Bigger Elvis,” which highlights the life of Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., a former Hollywood actress once famous for kissing Elvis Presley, who later became a Benedictine nun. The documentary provides “an honest look at her challenging, but spiritually rewarding life.” Mother Dolores, who shared her peaceful and smiling presence with those gathered for the ceremony, also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Christophers last year. The premise of the documentary is that if you have hope, you can find faith.

Other winners in the “TV and Cable” category were: “60 Minutes: Joy in the Congo,” CBS News; “Call the Midwife Holiday Special,” Neal Street Production/PBC/PBS; “NY Med: Season One,” ABC News; and “Under African Skies: Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey,” @Radical.Media/A&E Indy Films.

The CBS television series “Blue Bloods” was honored with the 2013 Special Christopher Award. The awards program described the show as a family drama that “highlights love, loyalty and faith while exploring moral dilemmas in a relevant and engaging way.” The show follows the life of the Reagan family, whose members serve as New York City police officers and in the district attorney’s office. Starring are Tom Selleck, Donnie Walhberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Amy Carlson, Sami Gayle and Len Cariou, who served as a presenter at the Christopher Awards ceremony.

“Medal Quest,” was the winner of the Christopher Spirit Award. This WGBH public television online project highlights the American athletes who trained for and competed in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

The winners in the “Books for Adults” category were “Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism,” by Arthur Fleischmann with Carly Fleischmann; “Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown, by Eric Blehm; “A Good Man: Remembering My Father Sargent Shriver,” by Mark K. Shriver; “My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir,” by Colleen Carroll Campbell; and “Road to Valor: A True Story of World War II Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation,” by Ailli and Andres McConnon.

In the “Books for Young People” category, the winners were: “Forever You: A Book About Your Soul and Body,” by Nicole Lataif, illustrated by Mary Rojas; “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” by William Joyce, illustrated by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm; “The House on Dirty-Third Street,” by Jo S. Kittinger, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez; “The One and Only Ivan,” by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Patricia Castelao; “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio; and “Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town,” by Warren St. John.

In the “Feature Films” category, the awards went to: “Les Miserables,” “Lincoln” and “Undefeated.”

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