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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

A New Film about Jesus Done Exclusively in Sign Language Hits Theaters This Summer

The picture is produced by a Christian ministry that focuses on bringing the Gospel to the deaf.

Gideon Firl plays the Jesus character in a scene from the movie "Jesus."
Gideon Firl plays the Jesus character in a scene from the movie "Jesus." Image: Deaf Missions/Photographer Branton Stewart/from Instagram.

In what filmmakers are calling a "historic first," this movie about the life of Christ will feature all dialogue performed in American Sign Language. Jesus, as the picture is entitled, is a production of Deaf Missions, which was founded in 1970 and is now bringing the message of Christ to deaf people in more than 100 countries.

The film bills itself as being produced "For Deaf by Deaf," and the cast and leading crew are indeed all deaf people, including Gideon Firl, who portrays Jesus. That was something "incredibly important" for Chad Entinger, executive producer and the CEO of Deaf Missions. In a press release, he emphasized his hope that the movie will serve as an outreach vehicle to those without a sense of hearing.

"The Deaf community is one of the largest unreached people groups in the world, so we are praying that God will use this movie to ignite a movement of healing and heart change in the Deaf community."

A synopsis for the picture promises "a journey with Jesus and his disciples," allowing audiences to "Witness His miracles, His transformative power, and His challenges to the religious elite in a time of high tension under Roman rule in Judea." Though the film - which judging by the trailer looks strikingly similar to The Chosen - exclusively features sign language, it does include a soundtrack and will also present English subtitles throughout, thus making it accessible to non-deaf moviegoers.

The primary target demographic, however, is the deaf. Director and producer Joseph Josselyn, himself deaf, is "excited to see how a deaf audience responds" in light of the historic nature of the film.

"They can finally watch a movie about Jesus without any language barriers and become fully immersed in it with their heart language!"

Jesus is scheduled to release in theaters on June 20th and you can purchase tickets to a venue in your area via this link to the movie's website. The trailer below will give a better sense of what to expect in the meantime.


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