The deaf community will soon be able to view the story of Jesus' life in a brand new way. 

JESUS: A Deaf Missions Film is coming to theatres on June 20 and is the first of its kind. Viewers will be able to see Jesus' life and death portrayed the entire way through using American Sign Language (ASL).

Deaf Missions is a ministry that focuses on sharing the gospel through ASL. They worked alongside GUM Vision Studio to create the life of Jesus on the big screen for deaf viewers. 

"Growing up in a Christian family, I watched many films about Jesus. But I always wondered, what if these movies were in sign language?" shared Joseph D. Josselyn, the film's director in an interview with The Christian Post. "After joining Deaf Missions in 2006, the idea began to take shape, though it seemed daunting at the time due to the scale of production, technology and funding required."

The film's director and the actor portraying Jesus, Gideon Firl, are both deaf. 

"We initially created a film adaptation of the book of Job, which gave us the experience we needed. We felt ready to pursue a larger project, leading us to JESUS."

After nearly 40 years of working on translating the entire Bible into ASL, the project was completed in 2020. This gave Josselyn even further confidence to tackle a film showing Jesus life, miracles, relationships, death and resurrection. 

While the film was created for the deaf community, by deaf people, there is a soundtrack in the background and subtitles for listening viewers. 

"It was really easy because Jesus is still alive," says Firl, the deaf actor playing Jesus. "We have His voice and His character in us. That’s what I copied. I didn’t have to think of much when it came to that; I didn't have to feel like I was laboring and toiling … I just asked the Father. The Holy Spirit was the One that helped me to emulate that."

Firl has experienced the lack of connection in the Christian community and he feels hopeful this film will help close the gap. 

"I'm so excited for unbelievers in the deaf community, and there are so many. Churches are not as accessible as we might think when it comes to deaf people. There might be one room way upstairs, way back in the back, that might be for deaf people to gather to have their church service on their own and not be part of the mainstream church. I'm praying that this movie would shake awake the Church, wake people up to see who Jesus is."