By Glen C. Griffin, M.D.
Editor’s Note: If you would like information on how to attend the World Congress of Families meeting sponsored by United Families in Arizona on November 21 and 22 and be a part of defending marriage, please go to www.unitedfamilies.org
Five motion pictures will be honored on November 21st in Mesa, Arizona, with CAMIE awards for being uplifting, entertaining, and providing a positive influence. Individual CAMIE awards will be presented to each of the key people involved in writing, producing, directing, and acting in these uplifting and entertaining films.
The idea for the CAMIE awards was born in 1997 as several of us thought of ways to help people find wholesome entertainment and to encourage moviemakers to create shows that don’t promote non-married sex and gratuitous violence. To do this, a nonprofit foundation was created which is now known as CAMIE awards, Inc. 
A search was begun for movies that told stories about courage, building character, overcoming adversity, and solving problems. Although many shows romanticized self-defeating behavior, many others correctly portrayed the consequences of good and bad choices, realizing some lessons in life come with pain and sorrow. As we found uplifting shows, reviews and comments about them were posted on the first of several generations of www.moviepicks.org .
The concept of giving awards for uplifting movies was easy. Choosing a name for the award wasn’t. Hundreds of names were considered, many being eliminated because of trademark conflicts. Finally, we came up with the name CAMIE, spelling out the description of Character And Morality In Entertainment.
Prominent people from many faiths and cultures became involved, realizing there was considerable unity among people of faith about the dangers of immoral role models on the screen. One of the early members of the advisory board was the archbishop of New York, the late John Cardinal O’Connor. He encouraged us to look for and help people find entertainment that was wholesome and to reward those who created it-rather than spending our time calling attention to shows filled with evil. This principle has been followed exactly.
Among the prominent people of various faiths on the CAMIE award advisory board include several who have worked to teach young people that sex is only for marriage. They include Shepherd Smith, the president of the Institute of Youth Development; Freda Bush, M.D., a gynecologist from Mississippi; Father John Bonnici, the pastor of St. Philip Neri; and Pat Ware, who was invited by the presidents of Zambia and Kenya to teach them, their cabinet members, and other government officials about preventing AIDS by teaching abstinence.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Michael Medved, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger add their support as orthodox Jews who are as outspoken about morality as Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, a Muslim; and The Most Reverend Thomas Doran of the Roman Catholic Church. Several members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are also involved. 
Besides the moviepicks.org website headed by Lisa B. Hawkins, with BYU student and other reviewers, many other volunteers are involved in CAMIE awards, Inc. A strong CAMIE awards screening committee checks and double checks every film nominated for CAMIE awards. After much careful consideration, and with valuable input from board members across the country, the CAMIE award choices are confirmed by the advisory board and trustees. The process is long and difficult, which results in the best of the best films being honored with CAMIE awards. A CAMIE is not just another award.
CAMIE awards are beautiful, solid bronze castings from a sculpture of a young woman named CAMIE, recognizing uplifting motion pictures that provide a positive influence for good. A new CAMIE was sculpted by Raymond Gibby, a young artist who had a perfect vision of what CAMIE should look like to represent wholesomeness and character. When his clay sculpture was complete, there was no doubt that she was our CAMIE.
The sculpture was just the beginning. It takes several weeks for Mike Baer and his skilled foundry artists to make each solid bronze CAMIE award, created from the original sculpture, using the ancient time-consuming method of lost-wax casting at Baer Bronze Fine Art Casting.
To be eligible for a CAMIE, a motion picture must be presented with sensitivity and without gratuitous violence, offensive use of the names of deity, salacious nudity, sexual intimacy, “simulated sex,” or implications that sex outside of marriage is acceptable. Telling stories and entertaining without vulgarity and crudeness is strongly encouraged and is a factor as awards are considered.
The first CAMIE awards were presented in 2001. Awards were given to those involved in creating two films made for the theater and seven made for television. The award winning films were: Remember the Titans and Toy Story 2, and seven made for television, A Season for Miracles (Hallmark Hall of Fame), The Last Dance (The Polson Company on CBS), Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (Sullivan Entertainment), The Loretta Claiborne Story (Wonderful World of Disney on ABC), The Lost Child (Hallmark Hall of Fame), and The Miracle Worker (Wonderful Word of Disney on ABC).
Initially, CAMIE awards were also given to those creating outstanding television series. Those who created and acted in Touched By an Angel and 7th Heaven received CAMIE awards at the first presentation. Since then, because of the difficulty in knowing what a script may include in future episodes and for several other reasons, it has been decided that CAMIE awards and www.moviepicks.org will focus on full-length motion pictures. This includes those made for television, home video, and for the theater.
Who will receive CAMIE awards on November 21st in Mesa? That’s a big secret. What we can tell you is that two of these motion pictures were made for the theater and the other three of this year’s CAMIE award-winning movies premiered on television. Each one is inspiring and entertaining. We thank, and congratulate, all those in the industry who are producing enjoyable, wholesome, and uplifting motion pictures.
This year’s CAMIE awards will be held in conjunction with the United Families International “The Defend Marriage & Family Conference.” The awards will be given on Friday evening, November 21, 2003, at a gala banquet at 7:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Phoenix in Mesa, Arizona. Seating at the banquet is limited, so registering early is wise. 
The CAMIE awards presentations will include clips from the award-winning films. The emcee for the evening will be former Miss America Tara Dawn Christensen, who will also perform some solo musical numbers.
Following the presentation of the CAMIE awards, Ann Coulter, a well-known author and frequent guest on Larry King Live, Hannity and Colms, The O’Reilly Factor, and Good Morning America, will be the concluding speaker.
Those who stay for the rest of the conference will hear talks on Saturday, November 22nd by Sean Hannity, Richard Wilkins, Alan Carlson, Sharon Slater, and other outstanding speakers.
 CAMIE awards, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation under 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. www.CAMIE.org
 Alan Osmond, Marianne Jennings, Congressman Chris Cannon, Deborah Checketts, Rodger Dean Duncan, Janet Lee Chamberlain, Susan Carlson, Ed Bak, Megan Baer, Xue Lian Duan, Dr. Richard Parkinson, Levor Oldham, Dee Bradford, Dr. Chris Barden, Craig McCullough, and others.
 More information about the conference and CAMIE awards can be found at https://www.unitedfamilies.org/Conference/ConfSummary.htm and at www.CAMIEawards.org