A Hollywood movie director is out with a new project that he believes could help change the way people feel about Christmas.
Dallas Jenkins, director of “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone,” among other projects, teamed up with streaming platform VidAngel to launch “The Shepherd: A Story of the First Christmas,” a moving short that takes viewers through the traditional Christmas story.
Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, told Faithwire on Friday that he was personally impacted when he first watched the film, as he saw elements of his own life represented by the main character, a shepherd.
“Our family, we grew up very poor. And seeing that shepherd be rejected and have faith — and study and then serve others and ultimately be the first, outside of Christ’s parents, to hold the son of God — I can’t hold back the tears when I watch that film,” he said.
The film’s look, feel and storyline are certainly unique. Watch it below:
Jenkins’ plans extend well beyond merely releasing “The Shepherd” as a one-off.
The pilot episode — which he believes will “unite people of faith around the world” — is being used to launch a campaign to raise money for a new TV series about Jesus’ life titled, “The Chosen,” a project he and VidAngel are saying would be the “first-ever, multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus.”
It’s a natural next-step for VidAngel, a company that allows users to filter out expletives, violence and sexual content from their favorite TV shows and movies. Like other streaming companies, VidAngel is gearing up for more original content.
“We have already changed the way families view their content at home, now VidAngel Studios is going to change the way that content is created, and distributed,” Harmon said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working with Dallas Jenkins and his team, and have already been stunned by the overwhelming reaction to his concept pilot, ‘The Shepherd.'”
So, Jenkins and his Chosen Productions are launching a campaign to see if members of the public want to invest in the show — a unique attempt at bringing faith-based content into the marketplace that fans truly want.
Harmon told Faithwire that he believes the series will have an emotional impact on viewers, as the stories about Jesus’ life will be told, in part, through the regular people who interacted with him during his life and ministry.
The effort has already been endorsed by Phil and Kay Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,” Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, Dr. Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, and plenty of others.
Find out how you can back the project here.