Bright wanted to bring a biblically accurate depiction of the life, ministry, and death of Jesus to the big screen, and in 1978, filming began in the Middle East with British Shakespearean actor Brian Deacon in the role of Jesus.
When the original American theatrical run of Jesus ended in 1979, Bright asked Paul Eshleman, who was involved in the production, to head the organization. Eshleman remained in the position until 2004, when Jim Green was named as the organization's executive director.
In 2007 the project released the movie Magdalena: Released from Shame, which utilized footage from the project's 1979 film Jesus. The movie told the story of Jesus as seen through the eyes of four different women, the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, the Samaritan woman at the well, and Elizabeth. Critical reception for the movie was positive and the film is heavily utilized in missionary work.