The Spiritual Cinema Circle grew out of a collaboration between film producer Stephen Simon and psychologists Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks. Stephen had produced several movies with spiritual themes, such as Somewhere In Time and What Dreams May Come, and had given talks and seminars on the emerging genre that he coined Spiritual Cinema. During that time, the Hendricks had created a non-profit foundation dedicated to creating a new consciousness in mass media.
Stephen says: "I knew of Katie and Gay Hendricks through their books on relationships like Conscious Loving, but I didn't meet them in person until 1998. I was immediately impressed by how dedicated they were to helping build a new kind of consciousness in the world and we became good friends.”
The concept for The Spiritual Cinema Circle actually came to Gay during meditation one day in 2003, after which he immediately called Stephen.
Gay tells what happened: "In meditation that morning, I had a flash of insight: I saw exactly how we could create a community of conscious movie-lovers who could change the world. The insight came in a split-second, and after meditation here's what I wrote down: 'There are wonderful, inspiring movies being made by creative filmmakers all over the world, but hardly anybody is getting to see them because Hollywood isn't distributing them. The Hollywood studios don't seem to think there's a market for movies with heart and soul. At the same time there are millions of us around the world who aren't going to the movies much anymore because we're tired of the violence and mindlessness of the typical Hollywood stuff. Why don't we scout the film festivals, find the great spiritual-themed movies Hollywood is ignoring, and bring them to people at home on DVD?’
"After I wrote it down, I called Stephen and told him about the insight I'd just had. He agreed with me that there was a huge audience of people who wanted to grow and transform through the movies they watched, and they were frustrated because there weren't more movies that really mattered. Right there on the phone we sketched out a plan. Even with paying filmmakers, duplication and postage charges, we saw that we could still deliver tremendous value to people for a very low subscription fee. I had read that two people spend $30 or so to go to a movie theater (with the popcorn, sodas and candy accounting for more than half of that sum). I figured we could bring a whole package of great features, shorts and documentaries to people every month for a lot less than that!"
“None of us took any salaries in the early days—it was all done as a labor of love. Three months after we launched The Circle in March 2004, we got an enthusiastic write-up in Newsweek Magazine, followed by dozens of stories in other media outlets. It seemed that we had struck a chord with people around the world, because we soon had members in more than 50 countries."
We're deeply grateful to our global community of conscious movie-lovers and filmmakers who are indeed helping change the world... one movie at a time.