Movies & Meaning

Storytelling • Healing • Art • Justice

Announcing something hugely exciting: the Movies and Meaning Festival will take place from May 28th-31st, 2015, in Albuquerque, NM. Magical cinema, extraordinary guests, inclusive community, meaningful conversation, beautiful landscape and dance parties! Only 300 spaces will be available for this amazing experience. Get tickets here.


Cinema has been around for over a century, which means there are thousands of magnificent masterpieces that elevate the mind and soul, and also that the art form is just getting started. In a world of infinite content, often dominated by blockbuster superficiality, Movies and Meaning helps you find the best films to watch, talk about, and be inspired by. We recommend three movies each week - one for the multiplex, one at the art house, and one to watch at home.


The Movies and Meaning newsletter is published weekly, and emailed directly to our subscribers, who include some of the most discerning film viewers in the US. Our curators use their discerning eyes to discover the very best movies out there, and send you their recommendations, along with links to the best film writing around.

Learn more by reading a sample newsletter.


Ready to sign up? Subscribe here for only $1.99 a month.  Your first month is free, and you can cancel anytime without penalty.

Find out how by visiting this page.


Image credit: The Thin Red Line (1998, dir. Terrence Malick) We love it and you can buy it here

April 26-28, 2018 | Asheville, North Carolina


Alice Walker

Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated writer, poet, and activist whose books include The Color Purple and six other novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. Her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold more than fifteen million copies. She has received the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award. Walker has been an activist all of her adult life, and believes that learning to extend the range of our compassion is activity and work available to all. She is a staunch defender not only of human rights, but of the rights of all living beings. For more on Alice Walker, click here.

Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity”—just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow, a contributor to We Stand With Love, and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors and church planters. For more on Brian McLaren, click here.

Gareth Higgins, Festival Founder and Creative Director

Gareth Higgins is a northern Irish peace activist, author, film critic, and beloved storyteller. He is the founder of the Movies & Meaning Festival and The Porch Magazine. His most recent book, Cinematic States, explores the myth and dream of the United States through movies. He travels and speaks about film, peace activism, and Celtic spirituality. For more on Gareth Higgins, click here.

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James McLeary

James McLeary holds graduate degrees in health law and clinical psychology. He has worked with management teams in education, corporate and government institutions providing clarity and insight into communication and solution strategies implemented through curriculum and trading. He is CEO of Inside Circle Foundation, a not for profit organization providing emotional intelligence training for leaders of major crime organizations in maximum security prisons. He is executive producer of an award winning documentary The Work, which captures this methodology during a four day training.

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Jasmin Morrell, Festival Producer

Jasmin is a writer and editorial consultant living in Asheville, North Carolina. Passionate about the power of story and imagination to foster healing, she has served as the Communications Director for The Wild Goose Festival and Love Wins Ministries. She is also a collaborating editor and writer for The Porch Magazine