The Jesus Film Project recently celebrated the 1,500th language translation of the JESUS film at a remote location in Ethiopia.

A crowd of hundreds gathered early last month for the premiere of the Daasanach translation of the film, a language spoken by an ethnic group numbering about 70,000 who live in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan.

John Rinehart, the founder of US-based Gospel Patrons who with his wife Renee funded the translation and attended the premiere, said it was a "surreal and humbling" experience to sit among them as as they watched the premiere.

"Seeing the Daasanach witness the story of Jesus for the first time in history is one of the highlights of our lives," he said.

The Jesus Film Project said that close to 90 per cent of those who gathered to watch the film, a crowd which had grown to almost 600 by its end, indicated they would like to begin a relationship with Jesus and 79 gave their names for follow-up.

Mr Rinehart said the JESUS film had proven to be the "most effective evangelistic tool in history".

"Our hope is that going forward the Jesus Film Project staff and local church-planters will continue to use the translation to make disciples, plant churches, and reach people among the Daasanch who otherwise would never have the chance to hear the Gospel..."

"As we watched the people glued to the screen, seeing the story of Jesus, it was awesome to think that God was speaking to them in their own language like never before. We know that Revelation 7:9 says that in heaven there will be a great multitude of people around Jesus' throne from every tribe and language, and we believe some of the Daasanch will be there, in part, because they were able to see the story of Jesus through the film."

The JESUS film was released in 1979 and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the most watched film in history.