On the heels of the theater debut of Son of God, JESUS – the most watched film in history, with billions of views – has now been re-mastered in high-definition with a new musical score in Dolby 5.1 surround sound in honor of its 35th anniversary.
The classic, re-titled The JESUS Film, will show in a handful of theaters starting March 24. For those in areas outside of the theater releases, a partnership with Cinedigm and Mission Home Video will make the high-definition video available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital format. The videos will hit retail and online stores nationwide on April 1, 2014.
The JESUS Film is an authentic portrayal of Christ’s birth, ministry, death and resurrection as told in the biblical account from the Gospel of Luke. Nearly every word that Jesus speaks in the film is quoted directly from Scripture. To make sure His words were accurate, 450 leaders and scholars reviewed the script. Historical accuracy was ensured using clothing, pottery and other props made with first-century methods to portray a 2,000-year-old Palestinian culture.
Dr. Erick Schenkel, Executive Director of The JESUS Film Project®, a ministry of Cru, talked about the project in a press release, saying, "When the original JESUS film was released 35 years ago, it was ahead of its time. Yet, while the film has introduced billions of individuals around the world to the person of Jesus, few in the U.S. have ever seen it. We believe this new re-mastered version will give audiences an accurate picture of who Jesus is and why individuals around the world have chosen to follow Him, shown with production values they have come to expect."
During the film’s restoration, each one of the 173,000 frames was individually and painstakenly re-touched and re-colored, with new sound effects being added. The quality of the re-mastered, high-definition version of The JESUS Film is equal, if not greater, to other re-released classic films from similar eras, including The Ten Commandments.
"Unlike other religious films, which contain graphic violence or do not adhere to Scripture, The JESUS Film script is taken directly from the Bible and shown in a cinematic style suitable for all ages,” Schenkel said. "The new greatly enhanced video and sound quality elevates the emotional viewing experience of this 35-year-old film to a new level, making it fresh and appealing to a generation that may not be aware of who Jesus is.”
The JESUS Film has been officially recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the "Most Translated Film" in history, and is now is available in 1,197 languages. Since its original release, over 200 million people worldwide have chosen to give their lives to Christ after seeing it. As a bonus feature, the story of the film’s impact over the past 35 years will be shown through an exclusive new short feature narrated by actor Ernie Hudson and available on the re-mastered Blu-ray and DVD. Each disc will include The JESUS Film in a total of eight languages – English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Vietnamese, German, Korean and Arabic.