Movies & Meaning

Storytelling • Healing • Art • Justice

This April 26-28, 2018, at the lovely Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, North Carolina, we will gather and hear from special guests Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color PurpleBrian McLaren, author and theologian; and Gareth Higgins, film critic and Irish peace activist. We’ll screen seven movies, hear seven stories, and participate in seven activities proven to nurture community, restore hope, and build a bridge to the kind of world so many of us seek. We’ll do it in the setting of one of the most beautiful and creative small cities in the world, in a lovely theatre, surrounded by fantastic restaurants, places to stay, and the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ll make new friends, see astonishing big screen art, and pick up fuel for the journey of living more whole in uncertain times. 

Movies & Meaning helped me feel more alive. I left the event with joy, new vision, and feeling very blessed by my experience! Thank you!!
— 2017 Movies & Meaning Attendee

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Meet the Team

Gareth Higgins, Founding Director

Gareth was born in Belfast in 1975, grew up during the northern Ireland Troubles, and now lives in North Carolina. As a storyteller, retreat leader, and festival director, Gareth writes and speaks about the power of stories to shape our lives for better or worse, connection to the earth, cinema and the power of dreams, peace and making justice, and how to take life seriously without believing your own propaganda. He's happy to be a work in progress, and you can find him at

Jasmin Morrell.jpg

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. She believes in beauty, radical hospitality, and deep laughter.


Brian Ammons, Community Director

Brian Ammons is tuned into how the community is coming together and helps keep things on track. He facilitates conversations leading up to and throughout the festival. He's sort of the border collie keeping us together and moving through the process. Brian is the Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. He's particularly interested in stories that make the familiar strange and invite us into new possibilities. 

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