Standing ovation for 'Alone yet not alone' at the 'Christian Oscars'

Joni Eareckson Tada received a standing ovation from a star-studded audience after her performance of Bruce Broughton's 'Alone yet not alone' at the 22<sup>nd Annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala in LA on 7 February.

It was nominated for 'Best Original Song' at the Oscars following its appearance in a film by the same name, but was controversially pulled from its category after Broughton was discovered to have sent a short email mentioning 'Alone yet not alone' to Oscar voters. The nomination was thus revoked on the grounds of supposed "unfair" promotion.

Despite this, the organisers of the Faith & Values Awards Gala, which is dubbed the 'Christian Oscars', decided to invite Tada to give her rendition of the song during their ceremony on Friday.

Tada, who is paralysed from the neck down after a driving accident at just 18-years-old, performed the song in front of a crowd that included Broughton, lyricist Dennis Spiegel, Billy Ray Cyrus and Duck Dynasty's Willie and Korie Robertson.

She completed the song to rapturous applause, declaring "God's power always shows up best in weakness".

Other celebs who received praise during the Awards included Roma and Mark Downey, who were given the $100,000 Epiphany Prize for TV for their award-winning series The Bible.

"All glory to God. This has been quite a journey for us, for my husband and I, as a married couple. We were very encouraged all last year," Roma said in her acceptance speech.

The Robertsons won the Faith and Freedom Television Award for the 'Till Duck Do Us Part' episode of Duck Dynasty, which Korie said was an "honour".

"We want to thank the Lord, I'm thankful I get to work with my family every day," finished Willie.

Jesus film producer John Heyman was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award, which comes ahead of the film's re-release in cinemas across the US later this year to mark its 35<sup>th anniversary.

The Faith & Values Awards is the only family-centric awards show in Hollywood, and celebrates the TV shows and films which offer strong family and faith values.

Founder and publisher of Movieguide, Dr Ted Baehr, gave a speech at the event, during which he reported that stats suggest that moviegoers actually prefer family-friendly films that demonstrate Christian faith and values.

He noted that films with strong Christian, redemptive themes averaged over $87 million in the US box office in 2012, while those with strong non-Christian worldviews averaged just $21.64 million.

"In fact, movies with humanist/atheist worldviews did the worst, averaging only $3.66 million," he said.

He also noted that in 2013, "For the first time ever, 90% of the Top 10 Movies in the United States and overseas were Movieguide Award winners, from Iron Man 2 and Despicable Me 2 to Frozen Gravity and Man of Steel. Also, two-thirds of the Top 10, 60 percent, had overt references to Jesus Christ".

A number of biblically-based movies are rumoured to be in the pipeline this season, leading in 2014 being labelled by some as Hollywood's 'Year of the Bible'.

'Noah', which retells the Genesis account of the Great Flood and stars Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, is due for release in April, while Will Smith is rumoured to be making his directorial debut with feature film 'Cain and Abel'. Brad Pitt is lined up to star as Pontius Pilate in a movie about the Roman prefect who oversaw the death of Jesus and Batman's Christian Bale is to play Moses in 'Exodus', which will be released before the end of the year.