35 years: the JESUS film is re-mastered

The JESUS Film has been reaching people with the Gospel for 35 years. (Photo by The JESUS Film Project).

The JESUS film has been reaching people with the Gospel for 35 years. (Photo by The JESUS Film Project).

USA (MNN) — Can you believe it’s been 35 years since the JESUS film was first released?

Have you heard about the latest work of The JESUS Film Project?

In recent years, the progression toward high definition and Blu-ray versions of movies has steadily increased. Not only are many new movies shot specifically for Blu-ray, but old movies are being touched up and restored for Blu-ray as well.

The JESUS film is not excluded, and April 1 marks its release date into stores and online.

Josh Newell of The JESUS Film Project shares a little of the background of the restoration process: “It is somewhat painstaking. It was really more of a labor of love, however. 173,000 frames of the JESUS film were touched by our engineers to bring up the quality, beef up the color, and bring it into that HD realm.”

You may wonder why it is so important to have this movie transformed into the latest technology. Newell explains: “It’s a really interesting time in history. When I look at the film landscape coming out around Easter season, I see a lot of faith-based films. And what that tells me is that there’s a national conversation about God that’s percolating to the surface. The JESUS Film Project has been a part of that conversation internationally for so long.”

To be included in that conversation, The JESUS Film Project is updating their product in tandem with many of the other films being released later this year. The film will start out with eight translations.
“These eight represent the largest speaking populations in the U.S. that we have the translations for,” Newell says. “We wanted as many people in the United States and the Northern American audience to be able to see the JESUS film and experience Jesus, really, through film in their own language.”

This project is not new to the Gospel-spreading scene. However, the same principles from the beginning apply now just as much as before. Newell says, “I think really, taking a step back, it’s about setting a context for anybody–whether it’s me sharing with an international immigrant to the United States or somebody that’s just down my street who speaks English. Either way, it’s about setting a context for having a conversation about Jesus.”

Along with the re-mastered DVD, Blu-ray, and digital editions of the JESUS film, there will be a theatrical release in select theaters in March. You can contact The JESUS Film Project to find out how you might get it playing in your local theater.

More than celebrating the re-mastered film, Newell explains that the theatrical release is about the experience. It is a community event where people can engage questions about Jesus and what his life means. Viewing it together is valuable. It is also one way to get your neighbors and friends involved.

The new version is exciting–for those who care more about the technical aspects of the restoration–for many reasons. The touching up includes a new musical score, re-dubbed voices, cleaner sound effects, and surround sound capabilities.

Newell sums up what the project and this exciting new step are all about: “The heart of the JESUS film has really been to provide the context for God to work; and the beautiful thing about any movie is that it enables someone to share that experience with someone else. Throughout the last 35 years, we’ve seen that internationally and here in this country, where God has used that context to essentially bring people to a deeper understanding of who He is, or to be introduced to Jesus for the first time.”

If you would like to come alongside and support The JESUS Film Project in these and similar efforts, click here.

You can also see the movie with friends and family. Call up your local theater and ask if they will play the movie this March. Pray that many lost souls would see JESUS.