New animated film “Chosen Witness” told through the perspective of Mary Magdalene is reaching hundreds of thousands globally.
The film “Chosen Witness” was released in April by Jesus Film Project, an evangelical outreach created by Campus Crusade for Christ that has produced content in over 1,800 languages.
Executive Producer Elizabeth Schenkel says the new video tells the story of Jesus’ ministry, betrayal, death and resurrection “through the eyes of Mary Magdalene.”
“It is significant that this woman was the first of Jesus’ followers to encounter Jesus after he rose from the dead,” Schenkel told The Christian Post.
“Jesus sent her to the Apostles as a witness to His resurrection. For this reason, historically, Mary Magdalene is known as the witness to the apostles, even in some traditions, as the Apostle to the Apostles.”
Magdalene’s elevation to that position was “remarkable, Schenkel said, noting that women at that time were not even considered credible witnesses in a court of law.
“Yet, God chose a woman, a woman who had experienced affliction and redemption, a woman who had dedicated her whole life to supporting the ministry of Christ on the earth, as his first witness,” she added. “This choice speaks of God’s heart for the world, of his desire that everyone might see Jesus. No one is excluded. Anyone could have a special place and calling in God’s mission to the world.”
“Chosen Witness” is meant to show Jesus through three lenses — through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, His heart for outcasts and a glimpse into His life. The video was released in 38 languages on Easter weekend, and there are an additional 250 languages ready to go.
“Within three weeks, on U.S. YouTube alone, we had over 250,000 views,” Schenkel testified. “A number of national Cru teams around the world launched the film on their own websites and built online strategies around that launch.”
Poland had over 6,000 visitors to its unique page during the Easter season, she shared. “We had local staff in the Far East, Southeast Asia and South America who also launched the film on their sites with encouraging results.”
Jesus Film Project wishes to release the film in more languages in hopes that others would “see Jesus in a new way.”
“We were careful to populate our Palestine and Jerusalem [footage] with the people one would have found there at the time of Christ,” Schenkel explained. “Particularly at Passover, Jerusalem was filled with Africans and Asians as well as Middle Easterners. We want our viewers to find themselves represented in that world so they will be encouraged, again, that everyone is welcome, everyone can have a place in God’s Kingdom.”
CRU brought in some of the “finest animators in the business.” The screenplay for “Chosen Witness” was written by Barry Cook, the director of Disney’s animated “Mulan.” The film was directed by Dom Carola, the special effects director of Disney’s animated film “Aladdin.”
“This film was a labor of love, and I like to think of it as the modern equivalent of the beautiful stained-glass windows set in the Gothic cathedrals of Europe. [It’s] a work of art designed to bring the Word of God to life for the people who flock to the internet to find meaning and hope for their lives,” Schenkel concluded.
Jesus Film Project has been producing Christian content since 1979 and is known for its diverse library of media that brings people from all over the world the Gospel.
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