Blue Like Jazz wins Wilbur Award for Feature Film, joins past winners including “The Help,” “Schindler’s List” and “Dead Man Walking”
Religion Communicators Council honors 17 for work during 2012, including CBS, CNN and the Oprah Winfrey Network
Nashville, TN (April 9, 2013) —Blue Like Jazz won the Wilbur Award for Feature Film at the 2013 Wilbur Awards ceremonies held Saturday night, April 6 in Indianapolis. Director/co-writer Steve Taylor was on hand to accept the honor. The movie, released in 2012 by Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate Entertainment, joins last year’s winner The Help and previous Wilbur Award winners such as Schindler’s List, Dead Man Walking, Amazing Grace and The Green Mile.
Presented by the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), the Wilbur Awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media—print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures—in communicating religious issues, values and themes during 2012. Other winners at Saturday night’s ceremony included CBS-TV, CNN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post and Simon & Schuster Inc.
Based on the New York Times Best Seller by Donald Miller and adapted for the screen by Miller, Taylor and Ben Pearson, Blue Like Jazz had its World Premiere in March, 2012 at the South-By-Southwest Film Festival and was released in theaters nationwide the following month. It’s since been released internationally in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and The Netherlands, and continues to garner worldwide acclaim, including being named one of Paste magazine’s Top Movies of 2012. It will premiere this summer on HBO Europe.
The film boasts a cast of rising stars including Marshall Allman (True Blood. Prison Break), Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars), and Tania Raymonde (Lost). Blue Like Jazz was produced by Taylor, J. Clarke Gallivan and Coke Sams for Ruckus Film.
In Blue Like Jazz, Don (Marshall Allman), a pious nineteen-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college, impulsively decides to escape his religious upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at one of the most progressive campuses in America, Reed College in Portland. Upon arrival, Reed’s surroundings and eccentric student body proves to be far different than he could possibly imagine from the environment from which he came, forcing him to embark on a journey of self-discovery to understand who he is and what he truly believes.
The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in eight categories. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country, evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.
The award is named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations, longtime RCC executive director and former Presbyterian Church executive.
For a complete list of 2013 Wilbur Award winners (for work produced in 2012), go to:
About the Religion Communicators Council:
Founded in 1929, the Religion Communicators Council is the oldest public relations professional association in the United States. The council has more than 450 members and seven regional chapters. Members represent Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish organizations and work in advertising, print and electronic communication, and public relations. Contact: Shirley Struchen, [email protected] or (212) 870-2402.