Relativity Studios announced today it will distribute Cantinas Entertainment, Grace Hill Media and MediaWeaver Entertainment's currently titled HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE. The film will premiere nationwide on May 29, 2015.
Matt Alvarez, who is overseeing the project for Relativity Studios stated, "We are excited to share HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE with moviegoers across the U.S. 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."
HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE, directed by Michael John Warren (Jay-Z's "Fade to Black"), chronicles the spectacular and unlikely rise to prominence of the Australian-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED, which emerged out of the life of Hillsong Church. The music of Hillsong Church is so popular it is estimated that on any given Sunday, more than 50 million churchgoers around the world are singing their songs. The film follows the band as they labor to record their next album and explores the history of Hillsong, a 30-year journey from a tiny church in the Sydney suburbs to a vibrant international ministry. The movie culminates in a transformational concert experience spotlighting the humble hearts behind this worldwide sensation.
The film is produced by Jonathan Bock of Grace Hill Media, Matthew Weaver and Ben Field. The film was brought to Relativity Studios by Weaver (Rock of Ages, Jiro Dreams of Sushi), whose MediaWeaver Entertainment company has a first-look deal with the studio. B. Wayne Hughes, Jr. and Greg Campbell of Cantinas Entertainment, which is financing the feature, are executive producing along with Phil Cooke of Cooke Pictures.
Greg Campbell, Cantinas Entertainment Co-Founder and CEO, said, "Cantinas' mission is to amplify hope by delivering quality entertainment to a broad spectrum of audiences. As our first theatrical release, HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE fulfills that mission, and then some. And we feel Relativity is a perfect fit to make our dream a reality."
"With songs like Mighty to Save, Oceans, Lead Me to the Cross, Hosanna and From the Inside Out, anyone who regularly attends a church knows Hillsong's music by heart. That's how influential they've become," Bock said. "And yet despite the fame and adulation, they're still just an unpretentious worship band trying to do what hundreds of thousands of other worship bands try to do every week -- glorify God through their music. How they balance that is a fascinating and surprising story."
Led by Joel Houston, son of Hillsong Church founders and global senior pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, all of Hillsong UNITED's band are volunteers or employees of the church. Their latest album, "Zion," reached #1 on the iTunes albums charts and produced the hit "Oceans," which topped Billboard's Christian singles chart for 45 straight weeks.
Hillsong Church has churches in 14 major cities and more than 100,000 weekly attendees, including thriving congregations in New York and Los Angeles. In addition to its music efforts, Hillsong sponsors worldwide ministry work -- outreaches paid for in part through proceeds from Hillsong music and merchandise sales.
"The crazy thing about this movie is none of us really took it seriously in the beginning," Houston said. "But, you know what? The thing about Hillsong UNITED and Hillsong Church is that God took some pretty ordinary kids and some pretty ordinary people and over 30 years has actually done something quite significant. It's something none of us could have done on our own."