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Published on: 03/13/08

Communities of Faith: Spiritual Awakening Changes Life’s Script Hollywood Embraces Screenplay
By Christopher Quinn

Caroline Friday reached a point that a movie script would label as the moment of dramatic enlightenment.  All the events in her life were funneled down to that time and her decision nine years ago.

Something was not working for this successful lawyer married to a successful banker, living in London with three kids.  The exterior of her comfortable life covered a growing conflict.  Questions pestered her thoughts.

“Is this all there is?”  “Why am I here?  What is my purpose?”  She was headed for change.

Fade out and fast-forward to Marietta in 2008.  There is more to her life: a new purpose and a fulfillment of long held desires.
Last month, Friday won $10,000 and a trip to Hollywood to meet producers and others in “the business” for winning third place in the annual Kairos

Prize for spiritually uplifting screenplays.

The prize money came from the John Templeton Foundation, founded by the investment billionaire and philanthropist who has strong spiritual leanings.

Friday’s screenplay reflects the changes that took place in her own life: growth, spiritual yearning and learning.

“I went to church all my life, but I never really got it,” she said.  “I just thought it was boring and dull and fake,” she said.  “I just called out to God and said, there has to be more to this church thing than going and listening to a boring sermon.”

She gave church another chance by signing up for a 16-week crash course in Christianity developed by the Anglican church.  Something happened this time, she said.  She got it.

And things began to change.  She embraced her faith, which changed her interest.

She had been taking script-writing courses at the University of London. She began applying what she was learning of goodness and mercy, love and forgiveness to her longtime love of writing.

The script had its start in 2000.  She reworked and retouched it through the years.

It is about a Southern lady, a church member, who did not get it until a magical and, in some ways, tragic meeting with a homeless man.
Some of that reflected what was going on in her life, she said.

The script was judged by Hollywood professionals working for major studios such as Warner Brothers and Walt Disney Studios, said Ted Baehr of California.

Baehr helped coordinate the contest and is a TV producer and publisher of Movieguide magazine and Web site, a review of films from a conservative Christian perspective.

He said by phone that Friday’s script was well written and gave him the feel of “Driving Miss Daisy,” the Oscar-winning 1990 movie.

Friday went to Hollywood to receive the prize from a vice president of Fox Studios and mix and mingle with Hollywood insiders. She said she is shopping another script to the Hallmark Channel.  “I feel very confident I will get an agent out of this,” she said.

Baehr said Hollywood has been more open to making films about faith and ones that promote family values in recent years.  Some of those movies, such as “The Passion of the Christ” and the movies based on “The Chronicles of Narnia,” have been some of the industry’s top money makers.  He hopes the Kairos Prizes help promote more of those.

Friday said she never gave up her dream of seeing one of her scripts come to life on the screen, even though she wrote in obscurity for years.  “I just felt like I had to keep going.  And this year is the year when things are starting to happen,” she said.

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