A new movie is setting records by sharing its message entirely in American Sign Language and by assembling one of the largest deaf casts in movie history, per Religion Unplugged.

“Jesus: A Deaf Missions film” is the second major feature from Deaf Missions, a Christian program with an evangelical mission.

It summarizes the content of the New Testament’s four gospels, as the Deseret News previously reported.

What is ‘Jesus: A Deaf Missions Film’ about?

The movie follows the public ministry of Jesus Christ, focusing on his miracles and teachings. It seeks to share the story of Jesus in a way that will reach the hearts of deaf people, in particular — a demographic that rarely gets attention in Hollywood

“Deaf people for so long have been watching movies in our second language — we watch it on TV but have to depend on the subtitles or the captions, and we can’t fully experience it,” said director Joseph Josselyn to the Deseret News.

Josselyn himself is deaf and completed promotional interviews through an ASL interpreter.

“We started thinking about — what if there was a movie where Jesus himself was signing, was acting with facial expressions and sign language? And we knew then that deaf people would be able to connect to that story like never before,” he told the Deseret News.

View Comments

Though Deaf Missions is centered on spreading Christianity, Josselyn chose to focus the movie on the love of Jesus Christ, rather than other possible forms of evangelism.

“The most important was to demonstrate his love for people, his love that he died on the cross to forgive us of our sins, and to promise us eternal life, that his love and forgiveness and the gift that he gives us, that was the most important thing,” Josselyn told Religion Unplugged.

You can watch the trailer for “Jesus: a Deaf Missions film” on Youtube.

Movies about inclusivity and faith

  • “Soul Surfer”: This inspiring film tells the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a young surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack but continued to pursue her passion for surfing. Her journey shows that resilience and faith can triumph over adversity.
  • “Pass the Light”: “Pass the Light” follows high school student Steve Bellafiore, who runs for Congress to oppose the hateful messages spread by the opposing candidate, Franklin Baumann. Belliafore stands up for LGBTQ rights in his community while celebrating the power of faith.
  • “Remember the Titans”: Set in the early 1970s, “Remember the Titans” depicts the challenges and triumphs of a newly integrated high school football team. This classic film highlights faith, perseverance and overcoming racial barriers.
  • “Blind Faith”: This 2016 film shows the journey of a man who must adapt to fatherhood, business struggles and being blind. He relies on his faith in God to help him through his challenges.
  • “The Hill”: “The Hill” is a 2023 film that tells the inspirational story of Rickey Hill, a pastor’s son who, despite physical limitations, pursues his professional baseball dreams. Rickey learns the importance of faith, determination and allowing God, not one’s self, to define success.

“Jesus: A Deaf Missions Film” came out on June 20, 2024, and is in theaters right now, as the Deseret News previously reported.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.