We're pleased to announce that our acclaimed sports documentary The House That Rob Built, which was also nominated recently for a regional Emmy Award, is a 2022 Christopher Awards winner!
Founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller, The Christophers is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of service to God and humanity.
As its motto, it uses the Chinese proverb, "It's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."
Now in its 73rd year, the annual awards honor writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work reflects the motto and "affirms the highest values of the human spirit."
From the inbox, here's the section of the announcement dealing with film & TV:
Themes of healing, justice, service, building bridges, and overcoming steep odds are reflected in the 22 films, TV programs, and books for adults and young people being honored with Christopher Awards in the program’s 73rd year.
Winners include beloved chef and PBS host Lidia Bastianich, Olympic gold medalist and advocate for sexual abuse victims Aly Raisman, and broadcaster and executive producer Robin Roberts.
In addition, the PBS series Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small has earned the 2022 Christopher Spirit Award.
The Christopher Awards celebrate writers, producers, directors, authors, and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit” and reflects the Christopher motto, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Tony Rossi, The Christophers’ Director of Communications, said, “After the hardships we’ve endured in the last two years, we need stories of hope, light, and unity to lift our spirits and guide us toward a brighter path.” Winners in the various categories are:
TV, Cable, & Streaming
Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light (Lifetime) follows the Olympic gold medalist as she meets fellow sexual abuse survivors and learns about their trauma, pursuit of justice, and ongoing journey toward healing.
Amen-Amen-Amen (PBS) reveals the story behind the first Jewish community formed in a Muslim country in centuries (in Dubai), and the historic gift of a Torah scroll dedicated to the memory of an Arab-Muslim ruler.
The House That Rob Built (Tubi) explores the legacy of Rob Selvig, the University of Montana’s pioneering women’s basketball coach, who turned his team into a model of inclusion and empowerment at a time when gender discrimination was the norm.
In Lidia Celebrates America: Overcoming the Odds (PBS), chef Lidia Bastianich meets resilient Americans who have faced extraordinary challenges, found purpose in serving their communities, and turned their losses into accomplishments.
The biopic Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime) profiles gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, who became an international success and sang at civil rights rallies in hopes that her music would inspire racial equality.
Faith, family, and Christmas spirit permeate The Waltons' Homecoming (The CW), which revisits Depression-era Virginia as 17-year-old John Boy feels torn between supporting his large family or pursuing his dream of being a writer.
In CODA (Apple TV+), the only hearing member of a deaf family must choose between helping her parents and brother run their fishing business or pursuing her dream of becoming a singer.
Encanto (Disney Plus) presents an enchanting, animated tale about the Madrigal family, their unique magical gifts, and the reminder that each of us has inherent value regardless of our talents.
The documentary Francesco (Discovery Plus) profiles Pope Francis and his efforts to bring the message of human dignity to the world by shining a light in places where political, social, economic and religious injustices are occurring.
(Incidentally, Francesco filmmaker and FTP friend Evegeny Afineevsky reports that he is filming and editing a new documentary about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.)
PBS' Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small, a particular favorite of our readers, was singled out for the 2022 Christopher Spirit Award:
When James Herriot moves from Glasgow, Scotland, to Darrowby, England, to begin his first-ever job as a veterinarian during the 1930s, he finds himself enchanted by the area’s lush countryside and eccentric-but-kind residents. Viewers of Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small (PBS) are left with the same impression in this reimagining of the classic TV series, inspired by the semi-autobiographical books by James Alfred Wight, who adopted James Herriot as his pen name.
At a time when our modern world is roiled by war, disease, and division, the stories in All Creatures Great and Small remind us of life’s most important lessons: the bonds of community, the power of humor, the hope and resilience required to overcome struggles, the sacrifices we are called to make for a greater good, and the love that allows us to see the best in the people around us. For those reasons, the series has earned the 2022 Christopher Spirit Award.
The full list of winners can be found here.
Image: PBS, Discovery+, Apple+, Family Theater Productions (film images), The Christophers (award)
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Content Manager at Family Theater Productions.