As a Board member for the Christian Comic Arts Society and for the Biola Media Conference, I am SUPER excited to share this with you! My friends over at Campus Crusade just completed a monumental project.
They’ve taken history’s most-translated film, JESUS, and done a very innovative new translation. Instead of being in a different language, this new short film uses tells the story of Jesus in Japanese animé!
The short film is called My Last Day was scheduled to premiere online worldwide on April 21, but went over the weekend as word got out early when the site was updated with the new content. It is the first professionally produced Christian movie ever done in animé. Seven years in the making, the nine-minute movie frames the story of the crucifixion through the eyes of the thief crucified next to Jesus of Nazareth.
Barry Cook, director of Disney’s Mulan and visual effects supervisor for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, wrote the story for My Last Day. Since animé appeals to media-heavy cultures, Cook explains, the potential impact of using animé for a Christian movie is staggering. “I believe the type of animation we desire to achieve with this project will appeal strongly to a young generation, a postmodern generation,” said Cook. “It won’t be their grandparents’ JESUS film. It won’t even be their parents’ The Passion of the Christ. It will be the story of Jesus told in their language.”
The only thing this film has in common with Disney films is quality. Beyond that, the film stays visually true to the story. Don’t expect another unrealistic G.I. Joe style showing about Jesus’ and the thieves’ experience. There is pain in this story and you won’t see everyone’s white parachute come out as their war machine of choice explodes.
The animé film is the latest part of The JESUS Film Project’s strategy to create and translate media to communicate the story of Jesus in heart languages of the world. Because all of the dialogue from My Last Day is taken from the original JESUS film, My Last Day makes its debut with 1,100 language options. My Last Day, produced in association with Brethren Entertainment, will be freely available at GlobalShortFilmNetwork.com. You’ll also see more about the project at the Biola Media Conference on April 30th.
The JESUS Film Project continues to explore opportunities for additional animé films, as well as other media products which will utilize the most up-to-date technologies. The JESUS Film Project’s flagship movie, JESUS (1979), remains the most-translated and most-watched movie in history, with more than 6 billion viewings in 229 countries.