“Heaven” Gets Thumbs up From Christian Family Organization In Spite of Quiet Opposition

The Dove Foundation, a non-profit organization established to encourage and promote wholesome family entertainment, has awarded its Seal of Approval to “The Other Side of Heaven.” The Dove Family Approved Seal is awarded to movies, and other entertainment products that portray and encourage positive family values.

The Dove Foundation specifies that it seeks to promote entertainment based on Judeo-Christian ethics.

The approval award from the Dove Foundation came as a small surprise to the film’s distributor, Excel Entertainment Group, which was notified of the Dove Foundation’s decision over the weekend. “We are glad for the Dove Foundations decision. To be honest, we weren’t expecting it,” says Mary Jane Jones, media relations director for Excel.

Excel had attempted to buy advertising and PR services from several Christian media organizations before the film was released in theaters in April, but was repeatedly turned down. While many of the organizations praised the movie, they were concerned about being associated with a film about a Mormon missionary.

“We are thrilled that the Dove Foundation has recognized the value of this story as one that people of all faiths can appreciate and enjoy,” says Jones. “While ‘The Other Side of Heaven’ does tell the story of one missionary of a particular faith, the experiences he has and the lessons he learns are accessible to all people. This movie is no more a Mormon film than ‘The Mission’ was a Catholic film.”

This is not the first such honor awarded the film. In April, producer John Garbett accepted the Award of Excellence on behalf of the movie from the Film Advisory Board. Other films honored this year by that organization included “Shrek,” “E.T.” and “Ice Age.” The Film Advisory Board is another non-profit organization that promotes family-friendly entertainment. It is not affiliated with any religious groups.

“The Other Side of Heaven” has grossed over $4.2 million in theaters. It tells the true story of a young man sent as a missionary to the Kingdom of Tonga in the 1950s.


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