UPLIFTING FILMS was syndicated as a column in 26 New Age
publications from 1995 to 1997. The column was a collaboration with my late wife, Diana Oestreich. The column was first published in October 95. In mid 96 I began to syndicate it. By July 97, twenty-six New Age magazines and newspapers were publishing it. I discontined the column a year ago, but all of the magazines have said they would publish it again when I resume.

Market

Our Audience

American Medical Association Study:
In September 1996, an AMA survey found that:
  • 89% of women with children
  • 80% of women
  • 75% of all adults with children
  • 66% of all adults
had either walked out of a film, or turned off the TV because of violence.

It said that "Children imitate violence they see on TV and in Movies," and recommended that parents monitor the TV and movies their children watch.

This demonstrates the size of the audience which is interested in our perspective on films. The issue of positive media is very much in the news politically and socially these days, as more people become aware that films play a significant role in determining our quality of life.

Uplifting Films offers positive alternatives to violent films without being conservative or dogmatic.

This guide will be useful to any movie viewer, especially:

  • The New Age Audience - Very strongly desires a guide to renting positive, inspiring, life affirming films in the video store.

  • Parents concerned about what their families are watching and absorbing - what values are being presented?

  • Women who want to choose movies that are not violent or sexually exploitative. Some men are also looking for this type of film.

  • Doctors, healers, patients, and those seeking alternative ways to counteract depression and illness.

  • Schools, Teachers, Churches, Community Groups, Hospitals, Prisons, Reformatories, Rehabilitation Centers or any one desiring to inspire and uplift an audience.

Uplifting Films recommendations attract a devoted following because people are grateful to have the type of balanced positive information we provide. We did a regional access TV show on Uplifting Films, and it became extremely popular. People were continually thanking us for doing the show, telling us how necessary and useful our list was when they rented films.

Competition

Uplifting Films is unique because:

  • There are no other New Age movie guides or critics addressing this audience. Our recommendations are quickly embraced by anyone interested in this area because we guide them to the most inspirational and enjoyable films, and help them avoid the bad ones.

  • It evaluates the emotional or feeling content and the underlying essence of a film as well as its cinematic quality.

  • Other movie guides are generally basic listings of every movie, good, bad or worse without indication of what emotions you will be left with after viewing the movie. Our guide lists only those films that we feel are positive and life affirming.

  • We will not reveal the plot the way other film guides do. Each review will have a general description of the film’s essence, i.e., a woman’s film, father-son relationship, adventure, a love story,etc. Then it will describe the film in more detail, without revealing major plot developments. The user of our guide will be able to see a film as it was intended to be seen, without knowing the plot in advance.

  • In addition to major studio productions, we also unearth many excellent but lesser known domestic and foreign films, including both theatrical and television movies.

  • No other movie guide evaluates films from our perspective of feeling and love as well as artistic merit. The best known, such as Siskel & Ebert, Leonard Maltin, Blockbuster, etc., make no discernment based on positive, non-violent, or sexist behavior. They often have a cynical point of view and downgrade a film for being "too" sweet, idealistic, optimistic, etc. - qualities we look for in a film.

  • Other niche guides for families, children, mothers, etc., do not have the philosophical balance and/or aesthetic discernment which ours does. They often miss underlying negative themes, judging films solely on the lack of certain criteria such as violence or sex. Often, recommended movie lists are tied to a specific religion or political point of view. A person, who is concerned about extreme violence and abusive sex, has nowhere to turn for balanced information on what to rent in the video store. There is no discernment between content and context, nor insightful evaluation of the effect of a movie on the viewer’s psyche.

Other Media & Co-Marketing

Print

Uplifting Films, A Guide to Films That Make You Feel Good was published as a column in 24 New Age magazines with a combined circulation of 1 million copies. We will be able to promote the book in these columns, and can expand the number of magazines which carry our reviews.

Online

The Uplifting Films Web site (http://www.upliftingfilms.com) will feature reviews of current films, several Uplifting Videos of the week, and a feedback area where users can correspond with us and each other about films. We may have on-line chat sessions with actors, directors, writers, producers, independent filmmakers, etc. Our chat sessions to date have included such directors as Chris Columbus (director Mrs. Doubtfire & Nine Months), and Beeban Kidron (To Wong Foo With Love). We have access to both the major studios and independents. These celebrity chat sessions will bring attention to the book and other forms of Uplifting Films.

Interactive Computer Media

We are proposing an annual Uplifting Films CD-ROM and DVD guide.

Radio

A series of 90 second Uplifting Films reviews - possibly a talkradio show.

Uplifting Films Whole Hearted Endorsement

Utilized and marketed like the 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.'

Video Stores

  • On-line video store access to the Uplifting Films website.
  • Sales in video stores.
  • Inclusion of dollar off video rental coupons with the book. (valid in the store the book was purchased from) .
  • Blind referral relationship for mail order rental of Uplifting Films titles.

Classification of the Film Reviews

CATEGORIES
Films are categorized into three main groups, listed alphabetically within each:

Uplifting
Films filled with joy and reassurance that life is good and just. They contain no serious violence or other negative elements unless noted.
Political
Films that enlighten the viewer about political situations, show truth and reveal social injustice. Because they show the striving of humankind for goodness and the survival of the human spirit, they are, ultimately, uplifting. Films which have apolitical message but contain no violence will be listed with a full description in the UPLIFTING section and will also have a linepointer listing in the POLITICAL section.
Tense Drama
Excellent films we find uplifting despite some tension due to the presence of moderate violence or other negative elements.

Viewers will be advised of the nature of disturbing content in any of the Political or Tense Drama listings. Strong sexual content will be noted for those who are concerned about its presence.

GENRE
Within each category, films will be further classified with code letters listed on the title line:

(C)   Comedy
(W)   Women's
(CH)   Children's movies (applicable age groups will be listed in body of review)
(F)   Foreign
(M)   Metaphysical/Spiritual
(YC)   Young children - 7 and under

A Genre codes key will be printed at the bottom of every right hand page.

FILM LISTINGS
will contain: director, year made, actors, synopsis, rating, and applicable genre code letters.

Rating - Heart Rate - a graphic heart-like symbol filled infrom a whole heart to a quarter heart. Although every film listed in the guide will be recommended, I am considering using this type of graphic to point out the very best.

Synopsis will describe the essence of the film, why it isuplifting, what drawbacks it may have, and briefly describe the story linewithout revealing its major plot points.

Indexes - 10 indexes: Title; Category (3); Subcategory (5); Director. Others could be Actor, Year, Sexual Content.