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Contacts:  David Reich
(212) 573-6000

Tony Rossi

Jeanne Byington



2015 Chistopher Awards

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Pictures of The 66th Annual Christopher Awards

Special Award Winners Announced





The Event 66th Annual Christopher Awards






Creators of films, TV programs and books will be honored at
the Christopher Awards on May 13th

 NEW YORK, April 8, 2015 — An Olympic gold medalist, the actor best known as “the Fonz,” and a nine-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician are among the creative forces behind the 20 feature films, TV/Cable programs, and books for adults and young people being honored at the 66th annual Christopher Awards, to be presented in New York City on May 13th, 2015.
     Created in 1949, The Christopher Awards are presented to writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, says, “The Christopher Awards are unique in that they celebrate both sacred and secular works across a variety of media. The stories we’re honoring—whether true or fictional—highlight people who rise above their own wants and needs to act selflessly, regardless of the sacrifice involved. These individuals are motivated by a higher purpose or a higher power—and sometimes both. As a result, they’re leaving their world better than they found it.”
      One of this year’s winners, Martha Williamson – best known as the creative force behind the popular CBS series “Touched By an Angel” – had this to say about winning a Christopher Award for her latest project: “We are deeply honored to receive the Christopher Award for ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas,’” said series Creator and Executive Producer Martha Williamson. “When Hallmark asked me to expand our franchise into a series of movies starting with a Christmas story, my goal was to prepare hearts to once again receive the true healing miracle of Christmas. This acknowledgement is encouraging to all of us who worked on the movie.”


Winners in the various categories are:

Feature Films

     The American Nurse (Carolyn Jones Productions) goes beyond hospital walls to offer a moving, in-depth portrait of five nurses whose empathy and selflessness lead them to serve those dealing with miscarriage, aging, war, poverty, and prison life. American civil rights history comes alive in Selma (Paramount Pictures/Harpo Films) as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faces violence and blackmail while leading peaceful protests to secure voting rights for African Americans. In the edgy and endearing comedy St. Vincent (The Weinstein Company), a curmudegonly senior who smokes, drinks, curses, and cavorts with a prostitute may not seem like a candidate for sainthood, but 12-year-old Oliver makes a solid case for his neighbor’s goodness.


TV & Cable

     48 Hours: The Whole Gritty City (CBS News) explores New Orleans music programs that channel students’ energies in a positive way so they don’t become participants in—or victims of—the violence that surrounds them in their neighborhoods. In the DC Comics-based The Flash: Pilot episode (The CW), Barry Allen becomes the fastest man alive after a science experiment goes awry, allowing him to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a hero. The Gabby Douglas Story (Lifetime) highlights the roles that faith, family, and perseverance played in the gold medal-winning gymnast’s journey to the 2012 Summer Olympics.

     In POV: When I Walk (PBS/WNET), filmmaker Jason DaSilva chronicles his own debilitation after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 25, along with the love of his wife Alice who has helped him endure. Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler: Lourdes (PBS/WGBH) follows members of the military injured during wartime who seek physical, emotional, and spiritual healing in the renowned French Catholic shrine. Martha Williamson, the creative force behind “Touched by an Angel,” brings us Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas (Hallmark Movies and Mysteries), the story of four postal detectives who try to answer a little girl’s letter to God while dealing with emotional wounds from their own pasts.


Books for Adults

     In Fully Alive (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver reveals why people with intellectual disabilities have been his greatest teachers in life, giving him a more meaningful way of seeing the world. A boy with a rare genetic disorder and a disabled Anatolian Shepherd puppy, who was abused and left for dead, transform each other’s lives in Wendy Holden’s heartwarming Haatchi & Little B (St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books). Combating the stigma of suicide and mental illness in both the Army and society becomes the primary mission for a decorated Army officer and his wife in Yochi Dreazen’s The Invisible Front (Crown Publishers).

     In Jesus: A Pilgrimage (Harper One/Harper Collins Publishers), James Martin, S.J. chronicles his visit to the Holy Land and invites believers and non-believers to encounter the Christ of history and the Christ of faith. A Long Way Home (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Group) by Saroo Brierley shares the author’s personal story of getting lost on a train in India at age five, living on the streets for a year, being adopted by an Australian couple, and finally reconnecting with his Indian family 25 years later with help from Google Earth. In the memoir Mercy in the City (Loyola Press), Kerry Weber documents her commitment to living out the Corporal Works of Mercy, which led her to volunteer at New York City homeless shelters and breadlines and visit inmates at California’s San Quentin State Prison.


Books for Young People

     Through fun rhymes and colorful illustrations, author Nicole Lataif and illustrator Katy Betz teach children to forgive others like God does and channel their anger in a positive way in I Forgive You (Preschool and up, Pauline Books and Media). When a young girl discovers that her friend’s family is struggling with hunger because they can’t afford food, she comes up with creative ways to rectify the situation in Maddi’s Fridge (Kindergarten and up, Flashlight Press) by Lois Brandt, illustrated by Vin Vogel. Here’s Hank: Bookmarks Are People Too! (ages 6 and up, Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin), by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, finds lovable and comical second-grader Hank Zipzer affirming the intelligence and self-esteem of children struggling with dyslexia. Though an orphan boy in drought-stricken Kenya is denied water by villagers who fear there won’t be enough for their own families, his kindness and generosity leads him to find a solution for everyone in Hope Springs (ages 8 and up, Tundra Books/Random House) by Eric Walters, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes.  With a history of not following through on her commitments, Eliza Bing, who has ADHD, needs to muster up all the determination and inner strength she has to prove to herself and her parents that she can finish a martial arts class in Carmella Van Vleet’s Eliza Bing is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter (Ages 10 and up, Holiday House).



The 2015 special Christopher Awards have been announced Click Here


The Christophers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1945 by Maryknoll 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, leadership and awards programs.   More information about The Christophers is available at[Editors: A complete list of winners is available on request.]

Feature Film winners



The American Nurse

(Carolyn Jones Productions)

Director: Carolyn Jones

Producer:  Lisa Frank

Executive Producer: Carolyn Jones



(Paramount Pictures/Harpo Films)

Director: Ava DuVernay

Screenwriter: Paul Webb

Producers:  Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner

Executive Producers: Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid McKeown, Nan Morales,

Nik Bower, Paul Garnes, Ava DuVernay


St. Vincent

(The Weinstein Company)

Writer/Director: Theodore Melfi

Producers:  Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Theodore Melfi, Fred Roos

Co-Producer: Ivana Lombardi

Executive Producers: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Dylan Sellers, Don Cheadle,

G. Mac Brown



TV & Cable winners


48 Hours: The Whole Gritty City

(CBS News)

Co-Executive Producers: Richard Barber, Susan Zirinsky, Judy Tygard

Producers: Richard Barber, Andre Lambertson

Host: Wynton Marsalis


The Flash: Pilot

(The CW)

Director: David Nutter

Teleplay: Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns

Story: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns

Producer: JP Finn

Co-Producers: Jennifer Lence, Carl Ogawa

Executive Producers: Sarah Schechter, David Nutter, Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti


The Gabby Douglas Story


Director: Gregg Champion

Writers: Maria Nation, Sterling Anderson

Producer:  David A. Rosemont

Executive Producers: Gabrielle Douglas, Natalie Hawkins, Zev Braun, Philip Krupp


POV: When I Walk


Directors/Producers: Jason DaSilva, Alice Cook

Executive Producers: Yael Melamede, Stanley Nelson, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Peter Starr

Executive Producer (POV): Simon Kilmurry

Executive Producer (ITVS): Sally Jo Fifer

Co-Executive Producer (POV): Cynthia López

VP, Programming and Production (POV): Chris White

Coordinating Producer (POV): Nikki Heyman


Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler: Lourdes


Director: Wayne Derrick

Series Director: Leo Eaton

Producer:  Sally Thomas

Senior Program Producer: Anne Adams

Series Producer: Rebecca Dobbs

Executive in Charge: Denise Dilanni 

Executive Producers: Laurie Donnelly, Bruce Feiler


Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas

(Hallmark Movies and Mysteries)

Director: Kevin Fair

Writer: Martha Williamson

Story: Kerry Lenhart, John J. Sakmar, Brandi Harkonen

Producer: Harvey Kahn

Supervising Producer: Allen Lewis

Executive Producers: Martha Williamson, Joel Rice, Michael Prupas



Books for Adults winners

Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most

(Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

by Timothy Shriver


Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog

(St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books)

by Wendy Holden


The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War

(Crown Publishers)

by Yochi Dreazen


Jesus: A Pilgrimage

(Harper One/Harper Collins Publishers)

By James Martin, S.J.


A Long Way Home

(G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Group)

by Saroo Brierley


Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep

Your Day Job

(Loyola Press)

by Kerry Weber



Books for Young People winners

Preschool and up

I Forgive You

(Pauline Books and Media)

by Nicole Lataif, illustrated by Katy Betz

Kindergarten and up

Maddi’s Fridge

(Flashlight Press)

by Lois Brandt, illustrated by Vin Vogel

Ages 6 and up

Here’s Hank: Bookmarks Are People Too!

(Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin)

by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Ages 8 and up

Hope Springs

(Tundra Books/Random House)

by Eric Walters, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Ages 10 and up

Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter

(Holiday House)

by Carmella Van Vleet