And the Winner is... The JESUS Film

Campus Crusade for Christ
Wednesday, 12 March 2003

Academy Awards Category: Most Watched Film in History


A. Gone with the Wind
B. The Sound of Music
C. The Lion King
D. The JESUS Film
E. Titanic

If there was a category for "Most Watched Film in History" in the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony (March 23), the JESUS film would win in a landslide—topping Oscar greats Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music, The Lion King, Titanic, and The Wizard of Oz.

Originally distributed in 1979 by Warner Brothers in theaters nationwide, the two-hour JESUS film is not only the most watched, but the most translated—with more than 800 separate language translations and a viewership of 5 billion globally. By some estimates, Gone with the Wind ranks second.

Breaking conventional rules of film distribution, Southern California's The JESUS Film Project, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, penetrates the most remote, dangerous places on earth through a massive logistical operation involving hundreds of staff and volunteers who tote generators, makeshift screens, and portable projectors to film showings.

"The JESUS film has been shown in Russia's former Communist town halls, in bamboo huts in Borneo, and even on bed sheets in isolated villages in Saharan Africa," said Paul Eshleman, president of The JESUS Film Project. "For some viewers, this is their first look at a movie image, and for most, their first look at the most famous man in history, Jesus Christ."


In 1950, Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, one of the largest Christian ministries in the world, 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 joined the project and debuted the JESUS Film in American theaters in 1979. Since its inception, the JESUS film has become available in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm print, VHS, VCD, and an 8-language DVD. In late 2002, The Story of Jesus for Children was released, bringing the message of Jesus to kids of all ages.

For more information, or to contact Campus Crusade for Christ, see their website at:

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