7 Christmas movies for families to watch this season

'Journey to Bethlehem'

Journey to Bethlehem movie
Journey to Bethlehem movie

Lastly, “Journey to Bethlehem” seeks to draw both mainstream and Christian audiences to see the theatrical musical release of this fictional version of the Nativity that takes creative liberties with the biblical story.

The Sony/AFFIRM films movie presents a modern version of the story of Jesus' birth that strays far afield from the biblical account, featuring pop songs and modern themes, including portraying Mary and Joseph as young strong-willed individuals. 

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Filmed in Spain, actor Antonio Banderas stars as King Herod; for King & Country singer Joel Smallbone plays King Herod’s son; rapper Lecrae portrays the angel Gabriel; Milo Manheim plays Joseph, and “Outer Banks” actress Fiona Palomo stars as Mary.

“This is the story that turned B.C. to A.D. Everything changed with the birth of Jesus,” Smallbone said. “The Nativity story is sort of a musical at the heart of it. These angels show up and they're singing to the shepherds.”

Lecrae added, “It's a story that's been important for thousands of years. It needs to be told and retold. What an amazing opportunity to be the first musical offering of a story this significant.” 

In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Lecrae said he departed from his typical musical style and “had to use the singing chops” for the movie. “I had to take acting lessons. They didn't have me singing way out of my range. It was a phenomenal experience. I really enjoyed acting.”

According to the project's description, the musical “weaves classic Christmas melodies into new pop songs in a music-infused retelling of the timeless story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus.”

The film is directed by Adam Anders (“Glee,” “High School Musical,” “The Passion”), who teamed up with Peter Barsocchini to write the script. The music was composed by Nikki Anders (“Glee," “High School Musical”) and Peer Astrom. 

Visit the “Journey to Bethlehem” website for more information.

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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