The first-ever film about Australian megachurch band Hillsong United will hit theaters across the United States in September. Michael John Warren, who directed "Hillsong — Let Hope Rise," says working with the group has made him a better person, even though he's not a believer.
The highly anticipated film chronicles the journey of Billboard award-winning Australian worship band, Hillsong United, which began in Sydney in 1998 as a pastime for youth at church, has since grown into a global sensation. The band is led by Joel Houston, the son of Hillsong founders and pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, and all 11 band members are either volunteers or employees of the internationally recognized church.
"Their mission — without exaggeration — is to make music to save souls. They are trying to get people to discover Jesus," Warren, who has worked with Jay Z and Nicki Minaj, among other Hollywood stars, said in a statement on the film's website. "That's probably the most righteous reason to make music. Whether you're religious or not, it's hard to look at that and not feel good about it."
"I'm not a religious person," he added, "but I learned things from working with and becoming friends with the members of Hillsong United. They are lovely people. They are sincerely giving. They are sincerely supportive. I don't believe the same things they believe, but I'm learning from them and I'm taking lessons from them, and I believe I've become a better person having spent a year studying them."
Hillsong United was not available to provide comment about Warren's statement by press time.
"Hillsong — Let Hope Rise" is produced by Jonathan Bock of Grace Hill Media, along with Matthew Weaver and Ben Field. Phil Cooke of Cooke Pictures has been named as an executive producer, along with Wayne Hughes Jr. and Greg Campbell of Cantinas Entertainment, who's financing the project.
In January, Warner Bros. abruptly pulled the film from its distribution and Relativity Studios, the third-largest mini-major film studio in the world, will now distribute the project. The film is now slated for release on Sept. 30.
Read the full article at ChristianPost.com.