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Australia's Hillsong hold premiere in LA

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 By Peter Mitchell

Hillsong's expansion from Sydney's suburbs to a global phenomenon has taken another leap with the world premiere in Los Angeles of the mega church's new feature film.

The red carpet event at the historic Westwood Village Theater on Tuesday shut down a major intersection and screaming fans lined the street.

"We honestly did not realise how big this would be," Hillsong United singer and guitarist Matt Crocker told AAP.

"I was out in LA rushing around today buying clothes and shoes because we found out it was such a big deal and needed something to wear."

Hillsong - Let Hope Rise, a documentary by acclaimed director Michael John Warren, explores the church's humble beginnings from Baulkham Hills to filling the world's largest sports arenas.

Cameras also follow Hillsong United as they tour the world.Crocker and other Hillsong United members Joel Houston, Taya Smith, Jonathon Douglass, Jad Gillies and Dylan Thomas, walked the red carpet alongside a mix of celebrities including singer Pat Boone, Glee star Amber Riley and NBA star Tyson Chandler.

The film took two years to make and at one point appeared doomed after the Hollywood production company backing it, Relativity Media, filed for bankruptcy.

US faith-based filmmaker David White's production company Pure Fix, behind the 2014 hit God's Not Dead, swooped in.

Warren, who directed rapper Jay-Z's documentary Fade to Black and Nicki Minaj's My Time Again said Hillsong posed an interesting problem for him.

He wondered if there would be enough drama among the band members for a feature film.

"They're very easy to work with," the director laughed.

"One of my major stresses was: where's the tension?

"But, there's always things that happen and the creative process for this band is a difficult one because they feel a tremendous amount of responsibility for the lyrics of their songs because they are interpreting the Bible."

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