Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on February 19, Adam Guillette of the Moving Picture Institute announced the winners of the first annual Liberty in Film Awards, timed to coincide with the awarding of the Oscars in Hollywood on February 24.
Among the winners he listed:
Best explanation of what makes charity possible: The Dark Knight Rises. When Bruce Wayne asks Alfred why the Wayne Family Foundation is no longer contributing to the boys’ home, Alfred explains that contributions are made possible by the profits of their company. ”No profits, no charity.”
Best adaptation of an impossible-to-adapt book: Atlas Shrugged: Part II. The rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor, Atlas Shrugged: Part II does an incredible job of showing both the terrible destruction of big government and the incredible power of the individual.
Fan Favorite: The Hunger Games. MPI supporters demanded an award for this dystopian tale of an evil centralized government that forces its teenaged citizens to kill each other for sport.
Among the “negative” awards on the list:
Best performance as a publicist for Arab Oil: Matt Damon in Promised Land. Damon’s anti-fracking film was funded by the government of Abu Dhabi.
Best propaganda piece for toddlers: The Lorax. The writers of this film turned Dr. Suess’ story about conservation into blatant anti-capitalist propaganda aimed at children.
In an interview with the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner after his presentation, Guillette explained that the mission of the Moving Picture Institute is “to promote freedom through film.”
The organization does that, he said, “by supporting films and filmmakers that can make a significant impact, either change laws or change the culture to promote freedom-oriented ideas.”
The Moving Picture Institute's “strategy is an entirely different approach than An American Carol,” for instance, a Kelsey Grammer-Jon Voight vehicle from 2008 that tried to portray conservative values through a lighthearted comedy/satire.
“What we do” instead, he explained, is to “support rising filmmakers rather than [make] the massive gamble of an expensive film.”
The institute supports young directors and screenwriters by helping them “make short films to pitch their talent to the major studios in Hollywood, which helps get them development deals and representation” to make more movies commercially.
“At the same time,” Guillette continued, “their films made for these purposes end up going viral on line or end up in classrooms being viewed by hundreds of thousands of students.”
Whether the Liberty in Film Awards have an impact on thinking in Hollywood relies on old-fashioned incentives, he said.
“Like anything else,” Guillette explained, “you've got to reward good behavior and point out bad behavior. This is an excellent opportunity to point out some of the bad behavior in Hollywood but reward those doing an excellent job promoting freedom.”
“The easiest way is to go to movingpictureinstitute.org. We have all of our films listed and you can instantly click through to NetFlix, Amazon, or anywhere that film is available. It compiles all of them at one place.”