Hillsong United's Jad Gillies said recently that his band's forthcoming film offers a "new perspective" on what it means to be a modern-day believer. He also hopes the film can draw more people to the church.
On March 25, an exclusive new trailer of "Hillsong — Let Hope Rise" is set to be released ahead of the film's premiere and Gillies shared his excitement.
"My hope is that the film gives people new perspective of what it actually looks like to believe in who Jesus is, and what it means to live a life that reflects His acceptance and love," the worship leader said.
The film chronicles the journey of the Australian worship band, which began in 1998 as a pastime for youth at church and has since grown into a global sensation. Gillies hopes the film can spark widespread interest in church service and worship.
"I hope it encourages those who have never been into a church that perhaps church could be a safe place for them, somewhere that they could feel at home, encouraged and inspired to do great things," he shared.
The Dove Award-winning band is led by Joel Houston, the son of Hillsong founders and pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston. All 11 band members are either volunteers or employees of the church.
The film is produced by Jonathan Bock of Grace Hill Media and 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.
"We are excited to share 'Hillsong — Let Hope Rise' with moviegoers across the United States," said Matt Alvarez, who's overseeing the project for Relativity. "Chronicling this Christian band's humble beginnings to their present day worldwide ministry is truly remarkable and worthy of their story being told on the big screen."
In 2013, Hillsong United's third studio album Zion peaked at No. 1 on Christian album charts in Australia, the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Last year, the band scored its first-ever American Music Awards nod in the Contemporary Inspirational Artist category.
Houston, who's co-pastor of Hillsong NYC, previously told The Christian Post that the band's goal is never to write "cool" music, but rather to share the story of Jesus.
"I'm not trying to write songs that are cool or hip, or that keep up to date with whatever is out there on the radio," he said. "We're genuinely just trying to write songs that are honest reflections of a creative God and music that helps people connect with God."
Hillsong, which is headquartered in Sydney, has churches around the world with more than 100,000 weekly attendees, including thriving congregations in New York and Los Angeles.
"Hillsong — Let Hope Rise" is set to be released soon.