By: Bryan Seltzer
International Press Association
Orlando, FL: I met Mother Mary, Vanessa Benavente, of the Angel Studio series The Chosen, it was wonderful! After talking with Vanessa in an interview at this year’s NRB, National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando, Florida, I understand why “they” selected her for the part of the Mother of Jesus. Alive, humble and full of what I would call the Holy Spirit, Vanessa is a real woman not caught up in the roll she plays but what I think she does every day. Bright, cheerful and very much alive, her portrayal of a godly woman is natural, not made up.
There have been challenges in some the filming at various locations and she works through them. For example, the weather varies for these outside shoots and in one, the temperature was so cold that while filming a scene that has Mother Mary with tears, some of them basically froze on Vanessa’s face by the end of the shoot! Now that is true commitment in her portrayal of Mother Mary!
There will be a total, that I know of, 7 series of The Chosen. I have refreshed enthusiasm to re-watch the prior series, for my 3rd time, to delve deeper into the pretrial of each cast member. Vanessa brings Mother Mary to life in the series which shows me how awesome she really is as an actress with her talent and abilities! Meeting Vanessa in person was such a joy and a meeting I will not forget!
If you have not seen The Chosen yet, please make time to view each episode of each series to get the full experience they bring! This experience could change your life for the better!
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Chosen is an American Christian historical drama television series created, directed and co-written by filmmaker Dallas Jenkins. It is the first multi-season series about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Primarily set in Judaea and Galilee in the 1st century, the series centers on Jesus and the different people who met and followed or otherwise interacted with him. The series stars Jonathan Roumie as Jesus, alongside Shahar Isaac, Elizabeth Tabish, Paras Patel, Noah James, and George H. Xanthis.
Noticing that there had never been a multi-season, episode-based portrayal of Jesus that could be “binge-watched” like shows on streaming mediums such as Netflix, Jenkins intended the show to differ from previous portrayals of Jesus by crafting a story arc that focused more deeply on the people who encountered Jesus and viewing him through their eyes. He wanted to present Jesus in a way that was more “personal, intimate, [and] immediate”.
The producers have used innovative methods for finance and release, primarily through crowdfunding. Fundraising for the first season as well as subsequent ones continues to make The Chosen the most successful crowdfunded TV series or film project. As of 2021, viewers had contributed $40 million towards its production. In late 2022, the creators partnered with a new nonprofit company, the Come and See Foundation, to manage funding, which allows contributors to receive a tax deduction for their contribution.
In addition to crowdfunding and the pay-it-forward model, revenue is also generated through several other channels. The show is licensed to other streaming platforms and TV networks, such as Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, and Netflix. Merchandise and video sales provide additional sources of revenue, as have limited premiere runs in cinemas. The show has been further adapted into a series of novels by Jenkins’ father, author Jerry B. Jenkins, a series of graphic novels by Corvus Comics, and companion Bible study materials published by David C. Cook.
According to an analysis commissioned by the producers, 108 million had seen at least part of the show as of 2022. Translation into as many as 600 languages is being funded by the Come and See Foundation.
The first season is set in 1st century Galilee, where Jesus starts to build a group for his ministry, inviting several people with different backgrounds. As he performs his first miracles, Jesus calls the redeemed woman Mary Magdalene; the stonemason Thaddeus; the choir member Little James; the fishermen Simon, Andrew, Big James, and John; the caterer Thomas and vintner Ramah; and the tax collector Matthew to follow him. Jesus also meets with Nicodemus, a Pharisee who is perplexed by the acts of Jesus. The season culminates with the group traveling through Samaria, where Jesus launches his public ministry after revealing himself to Photina, a Samaritan woman.
Beginning in Samaria, the second season moves into nearby regions such as Syria and Judea, where Jesus continues to build his group of students. As he continues to perform miracles while preparing for an important sermon, Jesus additionally calls John the Baptizer‘s disciple Philip, the architect Nathanael, and the Zealot Simon Z. As word of Jesus continues to spread throughout the region, he encounters both opportunities and difficulties. Preparations are made for his Sermon on the Mount with the help of the business apprentice Judas Iscariot.
The group returns to Capernaum in the third season, with the increasing popularity of Jesus troubling different societal and political groups, including the Romans and the Pharisees. Following the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus returns to his hometown, which results in a shift in his ministry. He sends his twelve apostles, two by two, to preach and perform miracles without him, leading to the disciples facing their biggest challenge yet.