WASHINGTON--The American Library Association awarded its prestigious Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video to "The First Christmas," an animated feature funded by the Catholic Communications Campaign and The Christopers.
The award, now in its ninth year, honors an outstanding children's video production released during the previous year. The association announced the award at its annual meeting, held last month in Philadelphia.
Using clay animation and narrated by distinguished actor Christopher Plummer, "The First Christmas" tells the story of the birth of Jesus beginning with Mary and Joseph's trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The colorful half hour program was seen by more than a million viewers on the Odyssey (cable) and Paxnet (broadcast) TV channels last December. In announcing the award, the library association cited the video's use of "colloquial dialogue and delightful touches of humor."
"The First Christmas" was produced by Frank Moynihan and directed by South African Lindsey von Blerk for billy budd films.
The CCC recently awarded the same creative team $150,000 for an animated version of Charles Dickens' "The Chimes," which will be ready for Christmas 2000 presentations.
The CCC is an effort of the U.S. Bishops to promote quality programming through the media. It is funded by an annual collection taken up in dioceses annually. Among its efforts are an annual public service radio, TV and print campaign and a series of network specials. Among the award-winning programs it has sponsored in addition to "The First Christmas" are "American Dream," which won the 1991 Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary and the 1992 National Society of Film Critics Best Documentary Award, and the National Public Radio series "Wade in the Water," which earned a 1995 George Foster Peabody Award.
Home video copies of "The First Christmas" are available from The Christophers for $14.95 plus shipping and handling. Call 1-888-298-4050 to order.
Editors: For a photo contact Pat Ryan Garcia, 202-541-3200.