Gathr Films: Be the change you want to screen.

Our goal is simple: to inspire local communities to take social and political action, while championing a renaissance of theatre-going.

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(GIRL RISING Stories of nine girls from developing countries who are overcoming great obstacles to obtain an education and change their fates.)

Gathr Films is a cutting-edge distribution company that successfully integrates mindfulness with Theatrical On Demand® and empowers YOU with the tools to bring otherwise unseen films to your local theaters. We aspire to build community around key social issues and invoke positive change with each new screening. As the first of our kind, I challenge you to open your most conscious mind and enter the realm of possibility.

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(WALK WITH ME A cinematic journey into the world of a monastic community that practices the art of mindfulness with Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh.)

Although I’ve only been Social Media Coordinator here a short time, I can’t even begin to describe what an incredible impact Gathr has had on the world of conscious cinema, let alone on myself. The films we choose to distribute engage the heart and mind with inspiring and emotional storytelling. People come together to share a moment in time and support a cause they all believe in or become aware of a cause they never knew existed.

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For quite a while, it seemed as though there really wasn’t a place for films like these to go to and get distributed. These are the kinds of movies that range from small budget exposés about homeopathy to emotionally hard-hitting documentaries about the rapid rise and ripple effect of suicide. This is where our CEO Scott Glosserman found a niche market, and where Gathr shines as a distribution and crowdsourcing company that empowers audiences with tools to enjoy the shared ritual of movie-going while stimulating social impact.

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(MANTRA: SOUNDS INTO SILENCE An exploration into the social phenomenon of chanting and those who are finding healing and a sense of inner peace by singing mantras together.)

Gathr Films has pioneered Theatrical On Demand®, which allows anyone to request a screening of a film they’d like to see and bring it to their hometown theater. Yes, that means you! As the host of a Gathr screening, we refer to you as a Movie Captain™, and shower you with all our best practices, tools, and tips to make each screening event a success. But screening events aren’t just a fun night of film with your close community, they are also important catalysts for change. Movie Captains™ can turn their screenings into fundraising events as well. You can add a post-screening Q&A––even roll out a red carpet and host a premiere if you’d like!

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One of our most memorable screenings was of the film, Suicide: The Ripple Effect, by Kevin Hines––a powerful, tragically relevant film that is gaining an incredible amount of traction in lieu of the recent spike of suicides, specifically in the United States. After struggling with depression and bipolar disorder, Kevin attempted to take his own life at 19 years old by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge (…and survived!). Incredibly grateful for a second chance at life, Kevin has now devoted himself to the cause of suicide prevention. This outstandingly inspirational story is meant to send a message of hope in a world where suicide is the second-leading cause of death among those ages 15-34.

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The Movie Captain™ of this screening invited Kevin to partake in a Q&A after the film, where he was able to intimately connect with the audience and spread his core message: if those who took their life by suicide could have a second chance, most probably wouldn’t go through with it (which is how he felt the second he jumped). People left in tears of joy from the overwhelming sense of love and support they felt from their fellow audience members during the event. The screening created space not just for Kevin’s message to be heard, but for those suffering to feel less alone in a very tangible way. That isn’t something you can get from just a regular trip to the movies; it’s a deeply humanizing and connecting experience.

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If you are inspired by this story, realize that you have the power to create a similar experience for your community around a social issue film of your choosing. Becoming a Movie Captain™ and hosting your own screening event is an opportunity to continue to create space and keep the positive momentum going for issues like suicide prevention as well as many more. This can truly be done by anyoneOther than the investment of your time, there is ZERO COST to host! As long as you have a passion for innovation and enlightenment, you have the focal qualities to become a Movie Captain™. Let me really break it down for you:

In a world where film is one of the most powerful and influential mediums of communication, we feel a responsibility to spread messages of compassion through films that give us a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes, build a sense of shared humanity, and give a voice to the marginalized.

 

The Gathr team wants to encourage anyone interested to check us out! Even if you’re not yet ready to host, you can still search to see if there is a screening event nearby.

Let us give you the tools to have some fun, make a difference, and extend compassion.

Much love,

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(This is a repost from the lovely and brilliant Nicole Wensel, who is the founder of Conscious Cinema Co. You can see the original post on her website: consciouscinemaco.com)

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