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. 

So grateful for this event! It is soul food for my being! All the creativity and intention that goes into it makes it a precious jewel in this world. Laughter, tears and heartfelt transformations....a community full of rich creativity and Love!
— 2017 Movies & Meaning Attendee

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Movies and Meaning Festival?

Movies and Meaning gathers annually for a weekend of art, community, activism, and fun. We believe, in Richard Rohr's words, that "the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better," and our festival is designed to be exactly that: a place where artists, spiritual seekers, and activists for a variety of social justice causes get to practice making the world a better place and go home renewed.

Who is Movies and Meaning for?

Movies & Meaning is for anyone who loves stories, movies, conversation, and investing in cultural and personal transformation. It is for seekers, peacemakers, dreamers, those who lament the wounds of the world and want to heal them. It is for people who love the highest reaches of art and know that open minds and open hearts often lead us to magical places. It is for those who want to tell a good story with their lives.  It is for people who devour movies and people who don't have a clue about movies but really like making memories. For people who believe in the power of art to transform our world. 

Is the Movies & Meaning Festival for all ages?

The festival does take place in a theatre without childcare or play areas for small children, so we do not recommend the event for small kids. For guardians of teenagers, we advise them to know that the festival does feature R-rated films. When we engage in emotionally difficult material, we do work to create a safe container, but there may be material unsuitable for younger audiences.

When's the next Movies and Meaning Festival?

April 26-28, 2018. Find out more.

Where is the festival?

At Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville. 18 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801. See more here.

What does the festival cost?

The price for the three-day event is $299, but since this community is committed to creating an event accessible to all, we offer tickets on a sliding scale. If the minimum sliding scale amount is beyond your reach, contact us and we'll let you know how to spread the cost of attending for as little as $15 a month:

What does my festival ticket get me?

Ticket holders will be part of a group of up to 500 people spending a long weekend together enjoying and participating in conversations at the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, art, and transformation. We will be joined by special guests and the screenings will provide rare opportunities to see transcendent works of cinema on a big screen. The tickets include all of the festival's activities. Participants make their own travel arrangements and can choose from a wide variety of restaurants and stores for lunch and dinner breaks.

Wait, where do I eat?

Food is not for sale inside the theatre, but we'll take 90-minute lunch and dinner breaks during the festival so that everyone can eat in the surrounding city. There are over 20 options within a 4-block radius, ranging from quick-and-easy (Wild Wing Cafe, Arby's, Mellow Mushroom, ) to local flavors (Green Sage Cafe, City Bakery, Chai Pani) and beyond (Posana, Tupelo Honey, Farm Burger, Salsa’s, Curate, Dobra Tea, and much more).

Where can I stay during the festival?

Great question! See our Accommodations page.

If I don’t want to walk to the screening venue and need public transportation, what options do I have? 
There are many hotels within 10 minutes walking distance to the theatre, but if you need to travel by bus, most downtown routes will get you within 3 blocks of Diana Wortham Theatre. Click here for Asheville bus routes and schedules. You can call 828-253-5691 for more information about public transit. 

By cab: Asheville Taxi Co is available on demand  and can be reached by text message at 828-333-1976 . Because Diana Wortham Theatre is in the center of downtown, rides are generally under $10.

Our staff also has a lovely time with local Lyft and Uber drivers.

Is there public transportation from the airport to the downtown hotels? 
By cab: Asheville Taxi Co is available on demand and can be reached at 828-333-1976. Rides from the airport to downtown are $45 one way. 

Is there parking at Diana Wortham if I have a car?

There are several parking options for parking in the area. Biltmore Avenue Parking Deck (16 Biltmore Ave.) is located adjacent to the theatre. For more options, click here.

Are tickets refundable? 

Due to the size of our organization and nature of the festival, we do not offer refunds on Movies & Meaning tickets. If you are unable to attend after purchasing a ticket, you may 1) transfer your ticket to anyone else by providing us their name, 2) donate your ticket to our financial aid program to help others attend, or 3) use the ticket as a credit to attend another Movies & Meaning event within 12 months (as available) of the 2018 festival (for example, at the 2019 festival). Contact us with any questions!

My question isn't here!

No worries! Feel free to write us at any time: