Sight & Sound, the theatrical ministry that has drawn millions to its Broadway-style Bible musicals, is expanding into the movies.
The new endeavor, known as Sight & Sound Films, will produce and release films about people in history who "changed the world because Christ first changed them," said Josh Enck, president and chief story officer of Sight & Sound.
The first film, I Heard the Bells, will release in theaters during the Christmas season this December, telling the story behind the beloved Christmas carol authored by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Sight & Sound operates theaters in Lancaster, Pa., and Branson, Mo., that have attracted some 30 million visitors since the ministry's founding in the 1970s. The musicals are based on men and women from Scripture and feature massive sets, elaborate costumes and special effects. Each stage is 300 feet wide – the length of a football field.
The movies will not be limited to Bible characters, "but we are committed to biblical principles," Enck said.
"Our movies will portray true stories from the pages of the past that are waiting to be retold," he said. "Like our brand in theaters, our films will be epic in scope with life-changing messages. In the same way our stage productions have a cinematic flair, our films have a theatrical style. Both are infused with spectacle, meaning story."
Much of the studio's cast and crew, Enck said, will be comprised of the current Sight & Sound team.
"Because of the incredible Sight & Sound team chock full of artists, designers, actors, engineers, writers, builders, and even animal trainers, we realized we had the resources right in front of us to become a film studio," he said.
Matt Neff, chief executive officer of Sight & Sound, said the ministry wants the films to "ring out above the noise of culture and bring hope, truth, and inspiration to the silver screen."
"We're humbled," Neff said, "that God has given us this opportunity to expand our passion for sharing stories of faith beyond the stage."
Photo courtesy: ©Sight & Sounds, used with permission.
Video courtesy: ©Sight & Sound
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.