Fact Sheet: JESUS Film Project
1979 by Paul Eshleman
Jesus Film Project believes film and media are the most dynamic way to hear and see the greatest story ever lived—so we are driven to bring Christ-centered media and tools to the ends of the earth to give everyone, everywhere an opportunity to see Jesus in their own heart language.
Erick Schenkel joined Jesus Film Project as executive director in 2012 with more than three decades of ministry experience. A Harvard University graduate, Schenkel worked on a church-planting and development team to start a church he then pastored for 27 years. He also founded Covenant School and served as chaplain for Lexington Christian Academy in the Boston area.
In 1996 Schenkel became a professor at a national university in Central Asia and soon after founded a nonprofit, educational organization. Throughout his 11 years in Central Asia, he worked alongside church-planters using the JESUS film. He joined Campus Crusade for Christ International in 2002 and served as strategy director for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia beginning in 2007. During his 10 years with Campus Crusade, Schenkel witnessed the worldwide impact of the JESUS film—from remote villages to the global level.
Mission 865™—Jesus Film Project's commitment to translate the JESUS film into all languages spoken by 50,000 or more people who do not have it available in their native language. This represents approximately 323 million people. Efforts are underway to reach this goal by 2025. Mission865.org
Jesus Film Media™—Equips people to maximize Jesus Film Project's tools and resources through digital media. The free Jesus Film Media app provides anyone with an Android or iOS device access to the complete library of Jesus Film Project—some 66,000 video clips. The corresponding website, JesusFilmMedia.org, also allows all users to interact and share best-practices for using the Jesus Film Media resources digitally and share the gospel. In 2014, the app won the Missio Nexus eXcelerate Award for Innovation in Mission.
JESUS Film Mission Trips—Short-term mission trips to take the JESUS film to the unreached people groups of the world. Coming alongside Campus Crusade international staff members, volunteer teams show and distribute the film. For volunteer information, visit jfmt.org.
Global Short Film Network—Creates connections and pathways for gospel conversation through films centered on universal themes such as love, rescue, brokenness, truth, trust and forgiveness. Since 2008, the Global Short Film Network has hosted 15 short film trainings in 10 countries, equipping 350 people from 27 countries to share the stories that resonate within their cultures. Fifty of these short films can be viewed online at GlobalShortFilmNetwork.com.
The Peoples Connection—An effort aimed at connecting American Christians with their neighbors from other countries, ReachingTheNationsAmongUs.org provides resources, training and special edition DVDs to assist American Christians in sharing their faith with their international friends and neighbors.
JESUS—This two-hour docudrama is based on the Gospel of Luke and available in more than 1,300 languages. Since 1979, JESUS has had billions of viewings worldwide—with more than 230 million people indicating decisions for Christ. Bill Bright, co-founder of Cru, dreamed of creating an artistically excellent, biblically accurate film about the life of Jesus Christ that could be translated and distributed globally. A team of 500 scholars and leaders from secular and Christian organizations participated, making Bright's dream a reality. Originally distributed in 1979 by Warner Bros. and shown in theaters nationwide, JESUS was re-mastered into high-definition in 2014 and remains the most translated and viewed film in history.
Following Jesus—A follow-up tool used in South Asia to disciple new believers.
Magdalena: Through Her Eyes—Released internationally in 2007 under the title of Magdalena: Released From Shame, this film depicts the love and compassion Jesus has for women. Seen through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, Jesus encounters biblical women displaying understanding of their innermost being, meeting their deepest needs and changing the course of their lives. It is currently available in more than 80 languages. An eight-lesson Bible study is available to be used with the 82-minute or one-hour version of the film to provide additional insight and reflection. For personal impact stories and other helpful resources, visit MagdalenaToday.com.
My Last Day—A short film of regret, repentance and redemption, My Last Day frames the story of salvation using animé, a Japanese-style form of animation. Produced in association with Brethren Entertainment and animated by Tokyo's renowned STUDIO4ºC, this nine-minute story utilizes dialogue from the original JESUS film and unfolds through the eyes of a criminal who receives the same brutal crucifixion sentence as Jesus. This criminal's own guilt causes him to realize Jesus' innocence.
Rivka—The compelling story of a first-century family as they experience life's joys and sorrows. Their lives demonstrate how loving God gives us strength for the present and hope for the future. Designed as a 12-part series, it teaches Christians to develop their relationship with God.
The Story of Jesus for Children—Released in 2003, this 62-minute film incorporates 40 minutes of the original film into a new drama about a fictional group of children living during the time of Jesus. It answers questions in understandable terms and ends with an invitation to begin a relationship with Christ. Geared for children ages 4 to 14, the film has been used around the world in schools, homes, churches, etc.
Walking With Jesus—A follow-up tool contextualized for Africans, depicting common African life scenarios and modeling committed Christian discipleship.
The Story of Jesus—This audio/radio dramatization of the JESUS film called The Story of Jesus (available in radio formats and audio cassette, CD and MP3), imparts a vivid presentation of the gospel in cultures where storytelling remains prominent—particularly among the visually impaired. It is currently available in 426 languages.
For more information about Jesus Film Project, visit JesusFilm.org.
A Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ
Jesus Film Project is a ministry of Cru, an interdenominational Christian evangelism and discipleship ministry committed to giving people everywhere the opportunity to know and experience God's love and plan for their lives. Cru offers spiritual guidance, resources and programs tailored for people from all cultures in every walk of life. For more information, visit cru.org.