An Inside Look at Our Animated Film, “Chosen Witness”

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Since 1979, creators at Jesus Film Project® have made the “JESUS” film available in almost 2,000 languages around the world…and counting! The translation work we have done alongside our global partners has allowed people to hear the words of Jesus in their heart language – the language they think, dream, and pray in.

But translating our original feature films isn’t the only way these films continue to make an impact.

Over the last decade, our creators have partnered with animators to adapt our films into new, engaging visual styles as well.

This means that the words of Jesus, already translated into languages like Hindi, Tagalog, and Bengali, are brought to life in a completely refreshed and relevant way. We’re grateful to God that we can steward the investment put into translating our films over the last 40 years in a way that will continue to engage new audiences in the years to come.

So, how does this happen?

Let’s take a look at one of our newest animated projects, “Chosen Witness,” which pulls original audio from the “JESUS” film and “Magdalena.”

This short film will allow viewers to experience the life of Jesus through the story of Mary Magdalene, the woman who became the first witness to Christ’s resurrection.

The story has been brought to life by Director Dominic Carola and a team of skilled animators. These creators have carefully worked to build the film’s visuals layer by layer -designing thoughtful concepts for the film’s setting, its characters, and how to show the story being told.

Live actors are also a key part of the animation process, helping to capture realistic motions for the film’s main characters. You’ll get a glimpse of how this works in our behind-the-scenes video below. Through our motion-capture sessions, footage of an actress stumbling across a patio in Orlando, Florida, later becomes Mary Magdalene, stumbling down the streets of a first-century village in Palestine.

The attention to detail in this project will ultimately help audiences immerse themselves in powerful scenes that point to the hope we have in Jesus. And thanks to the use of our original audio assets, the film will be available in over 250 languages, so viewers around the world can experience this hope in their own heart language.

Of course, this film wouldn’t be possible without the help of our global partners and support from so many others who have made our translation work possible over the years. It’s a project that represents the handprints of many people who have joined together on a mission – for everyone, everywhere to know the love of Jesus.

Keep an eye out for “Chosen Witness” coming to our film library soon. You’ll be able to watch and share the film on our website, the JFP app and on our YouTube channel.

And if you’d like to be part of making animated content like “Chosen Witness” available, consider giving towards our Animation Projects at Jesus Film Project. Your gift will help people around the world experience the story of Jesus.