Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—On a January morning in 1993 actor, Bruce Marchiano began a life-changing journey that continues to this day. Dressed in a rustic robe and sandals, he stood on a mountainside in Quarzazate, Morocco, surrounded by cameras and film crew, waiting for the director to call, “Action!” Cast to portray Jesus in the film, The Gospel According to Matthew, little did he know that morning that the Lord would call him to found his own ministry, then give him the breathtaking responsibility of carrying that very film and the love of Jesus explored therein, to a new, 2010 generation.
Biblica (formerly International Bible Society, IBS-STL), the rights holder of Matthew and other subsequently produced films using the NIV Bible text, has contracted with (Bruce) Marchiano Ministries for a fresh release of these films throughout USA/Canada. “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Marchiano Ministries,” writes Scott W. Bolinder, Biblica President of Global Publishing, “providing them with exclusive broadcast, commercial and online distribution rights, within the USA and Canada for Biblica’s audio-visual products, Matthew, Acts, Jesus the Christ, and Who is Jesus. As such, Marchiano Ministries is the sole and only authorized distributor to the commercial wholesale and retail channel for these products, all based on the NIV text. We look forward to a growing partnership between our ministries.”
First released in the USA/Canada in 1995, The Gospel According to Matthew was a pioneering vision, breaking new ground in Jesus films, the script being entirely word-for-word from Matthew, not even one syllable added or removed. “We created Matthew on the presumption that God’s Word is far more powerful than a screenwriter’s skill,” explains the film’s director, Regardt Van den Bergh. “Who can dare to think that any man could write a better script than God Himself by inspiration of His Spirit?”
But there was more. Led in prayer and research to The Book of Hebrews 1:9, which describes Jesus as “anointed with joy above anyone else,” both Marchiano and Van den Bergh felt to portray Jesus as a “Man of Joy” as opposed to traditional representations of Jesus as aloof and emotionless. This, along with presenting Jesus in a human authenticity and with deep, personal love for people, caused a revolution in perceptions of Jesus, not to mention countless lives changed. “I’ve been a Christian for twenty-five years,” as one testimonial declares, “but I never knew who Jesus truly was or how deeply He loved me till I saw Matthew.”
In time for Easter, Marchiano Ministries will first release Matthew in a 15th Anniversary (of its US debut) Edition, repackaged with bonus items and special features, including a 2 CD audio book, In the Footsteps of Jesus, in which Marchiano personally takes us behind the scenes of the making of Matthew and intimately shares his life-altering experience portraying Jesus.
Unto this end, Marchiano Ministries has contracted Nest Entertainment of Dallas, Texas as the exclusive distributor of Matthew to “faith-based” retailers and distributors. “We are thankful for this opportunity,” says Diana Shaw, Nest Specialty Sales Development Manager. “We are very enthusiastic about what Matthew has to offer, and believe the timing is right to partner in this.”
Marchiano himself stands amazed and humbled that God has given him this privilege, and to have the trust and partnership of both Biblica and Nest. “It is a great responsibility to be entrusted with God’s Word – with the Gospel, which is His chosen method to reveal His Son to a world that so desperately needs Him,” Bruce soberly reflects. “All these years later, not a day goes by that I don’t receive a testimony from some corner of the world about Matthew, so I’m very familiar with the work God is doing through it. And with an entirely new generation here in America that has yet to be introduced to it, I can’t wait to see what more God is planning to do through this new release!”
Marchiano’s own life was radically transformed through his experience playing Jesus in Matthew, causing him to transition away from secular acting to a speaking ministry that has taken him around the world, to African crusades and church building, to penning several books on the person of Jesus. Now, alongside this new contract with Biblica, he is currently involved in his most ambitious endeavor to date, as executive producer of another upcoming, word-for-word Gospel film, Jesus…No Greater Love. “All I ever wanted in life was to be an actor and win an Academy Award,” Marchiano muses, “but I guess the Lord had other things in mind!”