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Catholic group gives top prize to BYU film 'Silent Night'

Published June 20, 2013 11:37 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Catholic Academy for Communication Professionals is giving a Brigham Young University original film project its highest honor: the 2013 Gabriel Award for "best entertainment."

"Silent Night," a full-length, BYUtv movie, was filmed in Austria and tells the story of the popular Christmas carol, written in the 19th century by priest and composer Joseph Mohr.

The international Vatican-approved communications organization for the Catholic Church was looking for works that "uplift and nourish the human spirit." A Gabriel-worthy film "affirms the dignity of human persons; it recognizes and upholds universally recognized human values such as community, creativity, tolerance, justice, compassion and the dedication to excellence," according to a news release.

"BYUtv's 'Silent Night' exemplifies the Gabriel ideal of programming that celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit in an enriching and entertaining way," John Kearns, chair of the Gabriel Awards, said in the release.

Derek Marquis, managing director of BYUtv Broadcasting and executive producer of "Silent Night," expressed his appreciation for the Catholic honor.

"This recognition only fuels our commitment to produce programming like 'Silent Night,' " Marquis said, "which simultaneously uplifts, edifies and entertains viewers."

The award will be presented at a ceremony Thursday night in Denver.

Peggy Fletcher Stack