Dallas Jenkins, filmmaker son of "Left Behind" series author Jerry Jenkins, is the creator of the streaming series "The Chosen," which is the first multi-season series focusing on the life of Jesus Christ.
The series has become a global phenomenon, and currently holds the record for being the highest crowd-funded project of all time.
Its devoted audience has funded $40 million in crowd-funding financing to date, facilitating the production of two full seasons of programming.
The number of viewers of "The Chosen" keeps growing exponentially, thanks to the series’ multiple streaming platforms and its very own app.
The New Testament project has been translated into 50 languages, making its way into the world’s top entertainment app list.
Success for "The Chosen" has resulted in an upgrade of the project’s production facilities, allowing future filming of the upcoming third season to take place with a historically accurate set design, one sitting on 900 acres in Midlothian, Texas.
The series is available on the app with no fee or subscription required. The opportunity for viewers to voluntarily "pay it forward" is provided via crowd-funding at the conclusion of the screening.
Plans for the series to continue for seven full seasons is in the works, allowing for a full exploration of all aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus.
Part of the uniqueness of the approach that has been taken by the creators of "The Chosen" series has to do with the emotionally relatable characters featured in their cinematic story lines.
Bible-believing Christians adhere to the doctrine that Jesus is both human and divine.
While still staying true to Scripture, Jenkins and company focus more heavily on Christ's humanity. This is in contrast with what many of their predecessor filmmakers have done.
"The No. 1 word that we put on our wall, the banner across everything we do, is 'authenticity,'" Jenkins says. "So many past Bible projects telling Jesus' story have been a little stiff, maybe a cleaned up, sanitized version of the story. We desperately seek to pursue a portrayal that's as authentic as possible."
For the role of Jesus, Jenkins went with an actor he had used previously, Jonathan Roumie.
Having been raised in the Greek Orthodox Church and being a convert to the Roman Catholic faith, Roumie is highly knowledgeable about the Gospel story.
He had played Jesus in a touring multi-media project about the life of Saint Faustina called "Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy." He had additionally portrayed Jesus in a short film by Jenkins, "The Two Thieves."
As we move further into the Christmas season, the timing is perfect for a remembrance celebration of the birth of the holy infant. It's also a welcomed time to experience a cinematic retelling of the time-honored Christmas story, particularly a retelling that is respectful in its presentation. And the following one truly is.
Multiplying the joy of the season, the producers of "The Chosen” have created an additional stand-alone big-screen movie, "Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers."
The recent Christmas feature contains the same high-level production value and powerful storytelling as that of "The Chosen" series, which pleases devotees of the initial project as well as others in the movie-going public seeking to escape the darker and more cynical movie fare that poses as holiday entertainment.
The Christmas edition of "The Chosen" has broken yet another record by becoming the bestselling movie in the history of its distributor, Fathom Events, with $8 million for 640,000 tickets in 1,700 movie theaters nationwide.
Fathom has been going strong for 17 years.
It's the 11th largest distributor of content to movie theaters.
In the lead-up to the box-office event, $1.5 million in tickets were sold during the first 12 hours of availability. As a result, the original 2-day run was expanded to 10-days.
On a musical note, "Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers" is loaded with performances by an all-star roster of contemporary Christian music performers, including: For King & Country, Phil Wickham, We The Kingdom, Matt Maher, Maverick City Music, Brandon Lake, Cain, Leanna Crawford, Jordan Feliz, Dawson Hollow, One Voice Children's Choir, The Bonner Family, and Bryan and Katie Torwalt.
The music component of the film culminates in an epic performance of "Joy to the World," featuring a collaboration of star musicians playing and singing the venerable hymn.
May all enjoy this miraculous time of the year when Earth receives her King.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read James Hirsen's Reports — More Here.
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