WelCom September 2020
The New Zealand film Jojo Rabbit and the US television series Madam Secretary have won the top prizes at this year’s SIGNIS North America film and television awards.
The SIGNIS Awards are presented annually by SIGNIS, the Catholic lay movement for communication media professionals, to recognise excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers.
Taika Waititi’s film Jojo Rabbit – which he wrote, directed, co-produced and co-starred in – retells the story of Hitler’s World War II Germany, with its anti-Semitism and atrocities, through the eyes and imagination of a young boy.
‘His inventive mix of humour and history is a cinematic triumph, that allows a fresh and creative exploration of the human capacity for and need for compassion and understanding and love,’ says Frank Frost, President of SIGNIS NA.
The Awards are for ‘celebrating the highest human values in film and television’, he says. ‘We feel that Jojo Rabbit and Madam Secretary have indeed advanced the ideals of Signis.’
Speaking of the television award winner, Madam Secretary, vice-president of SIGNIS NA Pamela Aleman says: ‘In 120 episodes…writer-producer Barbara Hall has entertained millions of viewers with excellent writing, time-relevant story lines, and engaging, positive characters.
‘In doing so, she and her team have enabled their viewers to see difficult choices made that respect ethics and integrity while allowing for the compromise that can come from personal respect for an adversary. While sometimes idealising politics, the series credibly models ideals for which we strive.’
Hall thanked SIGNIS US, saying, ‘Thank you for honouring the values we strove to depict in Madam Secretary. They were based on the experiences and ideals of people who had devoted their lives to public service. Pray that those in service now will continue to promote them.’
SIGNIS NA is part of SIGNIS World, the Vatican-affiliated international Catholic association for communication. Members of SIGNIS NA include Catholics who work in media in Canada and the United States.
Sources: Catholic Sentinel, Signis