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Spiritual Cinema
A Growing Genre in Film
by Janice Hughes

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Spiritual Cinema is a fast growing genre of film these days. Consider the fact that several best-selling spiritual books are currently being released as films, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior (see Share Guide's interview with author Dan Millman), Conversations with God, and The Celestine Prophecy. There are also several other spiritual films currently playing in theatres or on DVD, such as What the Bleep Do We Know, A Day in the Light,  and The Blue Butterfly.
    Some of these films are actually getting released in mainstream theatres, which used to be unheard of. So does this mean that Hollywood is finally figuring out that many of us are tired of the standard fare of bombs, babes, and bloody terror? I sure hope so! If you look at the films playing this summer at your local cinemaplex, at least half to three quarters of them are sequels and remakes. Do we really need to see Mission Impossible #24 or X-Men #15?
    There are some alternatives, thank God. My husband and I recently attended the second annual Spiritual Cinema Festival-at-Sea. This event was so amazing that I want to share it with you, Share Guide readers, in the hopes that some of you will attend next year. An open hearted and creative group of over 300 people gathered for a week of film screenings, snorkeling, sun bathing, and spiritual community building. It took place April 22-29, 2006 aboard Holland America’s Ms. Oosterdam, sailing a seven day cruise from San Diego to the Mexican Riviera.
    This festival celebrates films that inspire and take us on a magical journey through the limitless depths of our own hearts and souls. All of the films we saw were excellent--including five features, seven shorts, and a preview of the upcoming film Conversations with God, adapted from the best-selling novel by Neale Donald Walsch.
    Taking time off and going on vacation is extremely good for our health. Many of us are guilty of not taking enough breaks; Americans take much less vacation time than many other countries. And when we do take a vacation, the popular choices such as Disneyland, Las Vegas, and Miami’s South Beach don’t offer us ways to really recharge, much less get in touch with our spirituality. Of course, there are many great yoga retreats, detox programs and spiritual journeys (subject for another article), but you haven’t experienced anything quite like the Spiritual Cinema Festival-at-Sea. This Festival was even more special for me because of the chance to meet so many other like-minded people and develop many new friendships.
    This Festival was produced by the Spiritual Cinema Circle, The nation’s fastest growing home delivery DVD film club. Spiritual does not mean religious. The Spiritual Cinema Circle finds the best independent movies with heart and soul from around the world and makes them available on DVD. Along with best selling authors Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, former hollywood producer Stephen Simon co-founded The Spiritual Cinema Circle in March of 2004, as a subscription-based film club designed to reach the millions of Americans who consider themselves spiritual, but not religious. For only a small fee per month, subscribers receive four films on DVD each month, and you get to keep the DVD (no hassles with mailing back anything). This is a great opportunity to see amazing films that are not available elsewhere, because despite the successful release of several films mentioned earlier, most mainstream Hollywood distributors still don’t believe there’s an audience for these kinds of movies--but they’re wrong!

To learn more about the Spiritual Cinema Circle, click here


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