A total of 21 writers, producers, directors and illustrators will be honored when the Christopher Awards are presented at the Time-Life Building in New York City on Feb. 24. Scheduled to be honored are the films "The Insider," "Toy Story 2" and "The Straight Story." In addition, the Christophers will fete book category winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, "CBS News Sunday Morning," children's book editor Margaret K. McElderry and author Patty Anglin.
As reported earlier, theatre names also figure prominently in the awards presentations this year. Playwright-director David Mamet and playwright Emily Mann are the theatre representatives from a larger group of directors, writers and producers who are scheduled to receive Christopher Awards.
David Mamet will be honored in the feature film category for directing and writing the screen adaptation for Terence Rattigan's play, The Winslow Boys.
Emily Mann, the artistic director at the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey will be honored for her screenplay, "Having Our Say," which aired on CBS.
The Christopher Awards recognize "creative works that express the highest values of the human spirit," and go to writers, directors and producers, not actors. They are intended to recognize the creative people behind the scenes in movies, television and books. The 50-year-old award program is run by the Christophers, a New York City group that was founded by a Catholic priest.
Last year's Christopher Award winners were Maya Angelou for the film "Down in the Delta" and Steven Spielberg for "Saving Private Ryan." Spielberg has won several Christopher Awards, for "Amistad," "Schindler's List," " Empire of the Sun" and the "Color Purple."
Guest presenters at the awards will be Oscar-winning actress Celeste Holm, Emmy-winning actor Michael Badalucco, Caldicott-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney and publishing scion Charles Scribner III.
The Christophers is located at 12 East 48th Street in New York City. For information call (212) 759-4050 or visit christophers.org.
-- By Murdoch McBride