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the Meaningful Movies Project
We are a group of concerned citizens in your neighborhood who are trying to make a difference in the defense of justice and pursuit of peace. We present  social justice documentary films every Friday night, along with facilitated open community discussion on a wide range of topics, and open to the public. Our purpose is to gather, educate, inspire, connect, and commit to peace and justice. To be notified of upcoming films, join our email list HERE.
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  The Meaningful Movies Project
1. CONTACT:    

Rick Turner
The Meaningful Movies Project
Phone: 206-450-5998

To sign up for our email event announcements, go HERE.
Our emailings are non-invasive - usually one schedule of upcoming films and events emailed sent each week, ...and sometimes a mid-week event reminder. Occasionally, there is something important enough that we just can't help sending it out, ...but we try to keep these to a bare minimum.
Our list is very confidential - we hate spam as much as anyone.
If you request to be added, and don't get our emailings within a week or so, you may want to check your settings on your spam-blocker to allow our announcements through (emailings come from or; emails from the url's and are safe.
And feel free to contact us anytime.


...Building Positive Community


is a non-profit organization that helps communities and groups organize, educate and advocate using the power of social justice documentary film and discussion to build positive and meaningful community.  It is an organizing arm of the MEANINGFUL MOVIES NETWORK (see below).

What We Do:

  • We advocate for public discussion and critical debate in an environment where everyone is free to speak openly without fear;
  • We empower citizens to gather, educate, inspire, connect, and commit to effective, non-violent solutions in building a more peaceful and just world;
  • We support building meaningful & resilient community.
  • We encourage and assist communities and organizations in their efforts to become more aware of and critically analyze local, domestic and international social justice issues;

Our Model:

  • Our events are community-based and community-sponsored using social justice documentary film and facilitated community discussion.
  • We work for the common good of our own communities, as well as the Meaningful Movies Network community as a whole.
  • All events are open to the public, for donations only, so that they remain available to everyone regardless of financial ability, and without stigma.  Open donations are accepted. All donations collected from community attendees are used solely to cover operational expenses, including space rental, film purchases & screening rights, equipment maintenance, snacks, and other event-related costs.  ‘Suggested donations’ are also acceptable, if clearly stated as such.
  • All participation is community-volunteer based. 
  • The intent is that Meaningful Movies be self-supporting and sustainable. 
  • A primary part of every event is the opportunity for community members to engage in some form of meaningful dialog with one another.
  • To be successful, ownership of these events must be assumed by members of the community. 
  • Permission is secured for all copyrighted feature films screened.  To be truly sustainable, we need to view our efforts holistically.  This necessarily includes the efforts of those we depend upon. 
  • Our events offer a forum for other social justice organizations to use to present their campaigns.
  • All events embrace the principles of peace, justice and non-violence, in action as well as speech.
  • We are not religiously or politically affiliated.

While we offer assistance to any social justice group using film as an organizing or educational tool, the model we advocate most strongly for, and have found most
successful, is:
One that focuses on the benefits of building community, and recognizes that all other benefits ultimately originate out of this;
One that offers events open to all, with no limitations on access, and maintains itself through donations from vested community members;
One that strongly encourages open dialog in an environment where all feel safe to speak;
One that supports independent filmmakers as true partners in these events, and acknowledges that our sustainability is inexorably linked with theirs.
We can make positive, meaningful change in the world.  It comes about simply by connecting one person to one person at a time.  We quickly discover that we are far more similar in our core beliefs than we are different.  Film coupled with meaningful conversation is a subtle, yet subversive way of recognizing these similarities, rebuilding a storytelling tradition, fostering a vital community dialog and allowing true democracy to unfold.
THE MEANINGFUL MOVIES PROJECT is dedicated to achieving these ends. 

To find out what films are currently scheduled, go to:
Visit us on Facebook:
To see what we're shown in the past, go to:
To sign up for our weekly events email list, please contact us at:
info (at) 

Please Come Join Us!

  The Meaningful Movies Project



is a collective of organizations that collaborate and support one another in their efforts to use film and discussion as an ongoing community building tool.  Its central organizing arm is the Meaningful Movies Project.

The Meaningful Movies Network currently consists of a growing number of organizations in the Greater Seattle metropolitan area.  Our goal is to establish this concept throughout the Puget Sound Region, and see it spread into the rest of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

The Meaningful Movies Project


Beacon Hill (Seattle, WA):
Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S., Seattle, WA  98144. 
Films + Discussion on the 3rd Friday of each month.
More information:!meaningful-movies/co2n

Bellevue, WA:
St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 4228 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue 98006.
Films + Discussion on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
More information:

Renton, WA.
Luther's Table, 419 South 2nd Street, Renton, WA 98057  
Films + Discussion on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
More information:

Issaquah, WA.
Blakey Hall, 2550 NE Park Drive, Issaquah, WA 98029
Films + Discussion on the 4th Wednesday of each month

Kirkland, WA:
Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, 308 4th Ave S., Kirkland, WA  98033. 
Films + Discussion on the 3rd Friday of each month.
More info:

Greenwood (Seattle, WA)
Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St, Seattle, WA  98103.
Films + Discussion Quarterly, with occasional special screenings.
More information:

Wallingford (Seattle, WA):
5019 Keystone Place N., Seattle, WA  98103 (Keystone Church). 
Films + Discussion every Friday evening.
More information:

Wedgwood (Seattle, WA):
Our Lady of the Lake Church, 8900 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
Films + Discussion on the 2nd Friday of each month.
More information:

West Seattle (Seattle, WA)
The New Highpoint Community Center Neighborhood House, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle, WA 98104
Films + Discussion on the 1st Saturday of each month.
More information:

Woodinville, WA
Northshore UCC, 18900 168th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA  98072.
Films + Discussion on the 2nd Friday of each month.
More information:

Poulsbo, WA / Suquamish, WA
Alternating between: Ground Zero Center: 16159 Clear Creek Rd, Poulsbo 98370, and Suquamish United Church of Christ: 18732 Division Ave, Suquamish 98392. 
Films + Discussion scheduled seasonally
More information:



Provide Advice on Starting A Film/Discussion Group
We can help provide a structured path to successfully implementing a Meaningful Movies group.  With a broad overview and understanding of all that’s involved, you can decide how this might best meet your needs, what specific form it might take, the effort and resources required and how this might change as you evolve.  This can be a lot more work than it appears, and we might be able to help avoid a few pitfalls.

Provide Ongoing Support To Established Film/Discussion Groups
The intent of Meaningful Movies as a network is to mutually support one another to make this easier and more rewarding for all of us.  The Meaningful Movies Project acts in the capacity of an administrator for the network.  The resources lie within the members of the network.

Coordinate Between Groups
We help as the connecting link between various neighborhood Meaningful Movies groups.  A new website and web-based communication system is currently under development.  

Help With Getting The Word Out
MMP can serve as a central location for promoting our events, to the general media as well as to one another.  Our developing web-based events calendar will be broadcast widely.

Coordinate Joint Projects & Film Festivals
We occasionally organize joint projects, both for the economy of scale to reduce costs and minimize individual work effort.  We also occasionally coordinate around efforts that are of common interest and for which we feel we can make a significant joint impact.

Help You In Your Selections Of Films & Resources
In contract to the few other organized community cinema concepts available, Meaningful Movies encourages each community to select films and topics based upon their own community’s goals and interests rather than from a preset and limited selection.  We realize this involves more time and effort, but we may be able to help guide this process.

Assist You In Learning How To Acquire Screening Rights For Films
Access to screening rights may be one of the more complicated and time consuming process required for Meaningful Movies.  We are here to work with you, advise and teach you how to navigate this.  We also encourage network members to work together to make this an easier and more effective process.

Provide Equipment Access & Technical Help
MMP maintains a limited amount of quality projection and sound equipment for use by network members.  Donations when possible to support this are accepted.  The intent is to make loaned equipment available until you find another permanent source or have grown to the point that you can purchase your own equipment.  We also provide training on this equipment.

Coordinate Workshops On A Variety Of Topics
On an ongoing basis, we help organize workshops on topics the network expresses interest in.

Support The Efforts Of Other Non-Film Based Community Organizations:
We assist other social justice groups with using film and film focused discussion as both an educational and an organizing tool. 
We help connect community organizations with local film/discussion groups, to serve as resources for one another.
On occasion, we may be able to provide equipment and technical support.

We Maintain A Free Documentary Film Lending Library and Make It Available To the Community:
We have more than 1400 film titles on a wide range of social justice issues.  These are available for loan on a personal basis to anyone in the community for free.  DVD’s are checked out at the Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies venue in Wallingford, and returned at the same location the following week.  Donations are requested to support the film library for new purchases and DVD replacements.
DVD’s are also available for loan to network organizations to review for possible screening selections. 

The library is maintained as a personal film library.  None of the films come with screening rights, and are for personal use only.

We encourage individuals to organize potlucks for home screenings with their neighbors and friends, and to discuss critical issues in small groups.  We consider these ‘living room screenings’ to be as important as our main event screenings.
Check it out at:

We Also Offer Our Original Venue As A Hands-On Field Lab.
We offer our own venue, Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies in Wallingford as a laboratory for skills training and for experimenting with new formats, facilitation techniques, and operations.  
We also occasionally offer this venue to filmmakers to test their films on audiences while in development or prior to final release.  Many of our attendees, while not formally trained in film, have seen scores of documentary films and participated in critical discussion over the years.  This provides a unique test venue for audience response and critique of new films in development.

  The Meaningful Movies Project

We are expanding

We are actively seeding new film/discussion groups.
We are reaching out & forming networks with other organizations operating under a similar model, across the region and the nation.

We are developing a “Meaningful Movies Handbook”:
This will be a Step-By-Step Resource Guide for those who wish to start and/or maintain a film/discussion group in their community.  It will include information on:
Background /history
Setting up a film group
Setting up a film evening
Why film? Why discussion?
Your budget
Selecting a venue
Equipment and Technophobia
Frequency and schedule
Support activities
Selecting films
Copyright issues and purchasing films
Researching the topic and support materials
Promotion and getting the word out
Your film library
Setting up for snacks and food
Guest speakers and organizations
Group Facilitation
Outreach, joint projects and supporting community
Film festivals
Guerrilla Screenings

We are developing a searchable data base for our film library:
This will allow searches by Topic, Title, Director, Date and other attributes.
We are also working on a program that will catalog film libraries of other organizations in the region, and incorporate all into a single common database.

We are organizing workshops and forums:
Topics previously covered:
Film/Discussion Facilitation – General Techniques
Film/Discussion Facilitation – Techniques and Problem Solving
Social Media (One) - Facebook for Film/Discussion Groups
Marketing Your Film Events - ‘Getting the Word Out’
Topics anticipated:
Finding films, Acquiring Screening Rights, Copyright & Legal Issues
Technophobia: The Ins & Outs of Equipment and setup
Graphic Design, Flyers & Posters, Emails, Newsletters and Web Presence
Social Media (Two) – Beyond Facebook
Facilitation – Behavioral Management, Troubleshooting and Non-violent Communication
Film Finances
Guerilla Screenings
…More as requested by network members
Eventually, we will be providing on-line training.

We will be organizing inter-neighborhood social justice film festivals.
We have already begun joint efforts to coordinate screenings between venues.  We are planning our first Neighborhood Homegrown Film Festival – a coordinated effort with other venues within the network to implement a formal film festival, but with each of the films selected and shown by separate communities, on topics relevant to that community.  The intent is to provide a flow of diversity throughout the region from one venue to another, learning from one another and extending our community connections.  The culmination of the festival at the end of the last day of films will be a large multi-community potluck and discussion.

We are developing a network website
This will include a comprehensive newsletter, and a commonly shared social networking campaign.  It will offer not only opportunities for individual presence for each network member, but will be a hub for resources, group organizing, communication, joint promotion and outreach.  


  The Meaningful Movies Project

Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies started in early 2003 as a project of Wallingford Neighbors for Peace and Justice (WNFP&J), a member of The S.N.O.W. Coalition (Sound Non-violent Opponents of War) who formed in 2002 to prevent our further military escalation in Iraq. 
Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies continues today to successfully show social justice documentaries and facilitate open community discussions on a weekly basis on a wide array of social justice topics in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle.  In 2013, they formed the Meaningful Movies Project as a separate non-profit entity to support groups wanting to organize similar efforts (see below and elsewhere in this document).
While WNFP&J was a large organization, it was a small handful of us who, at the suggestion of a visionary woman in the group, began educating ourselves using documentary films.  At the end of a series of 6 films, our group had grown to over 40 and people were clamoring to meet & talk following the films – about the evening’s topic, and about how these films connected to current events and to their lives, families and their own community.  When it was announced that the series was over, many of us rose up in protest to continue this new found source of community building.  And thus started ‘Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies’, a weekly event that has, as of this printing, continued for nearly 12 years – over 500 evenings of film and discussion.
Topics range from war & peace to sustainable agriculture & food security, from nuclear abolition to women’s or immigrants’ rights or the economy.  The range is broad with the single thread that all relate to social justice in some form.  We strive to offer a place to come together to discuss all sides of these issues.  We embrace differing opinions and work toward consensus.
We often, as part of our mission, invite organizations and notable persons working specifically in an area related to the film to join us.  This serves 2 primary purposes: 1) it provides additional depth of information, often relating locally to our community and with more current data; 2) it offers a platform for organizations and community members to serve as resources for one another:  Organizations offer a way for attendees to get meaningfully involved right away should they choose to; while offering organizations not only an opportunity to get their message out, but also potential access to new members to help with their campaigns.
Our format varies widely depending upon topic, speakers, integrated activities and actions, and the energy level of the attendees.  Generally, we start with an informal time for neighbors to visit; we then introduce and describe the upcoming evening, state our principles, and show the film.  Following the film we open the floor for attendees to briefly announce events in our immediate community, a short break with a few snacks, and then returning for a community discussion. The discussion is often a large facilitated circle discussion (sometimes with 50-75), or it might involve break-out groups or some other format.  This is a place very purposely created to allow everyone a voice in a safe, supportive environment.
The intent is to have everyone benefit from the input from the group, to broaden our knowledge base through a shared common intelligence, and to realize that we are stronger and more resilient as a community in the face of dynamic world events and social changes.

We have found community film to be an amazing tool for gathering friends and neighbors together for meaningful dialog.  Through the years, we have been fortunate to be able to offer support to other neighborhoods discovering the same results.  The benefits of neighborhood-based film events such as these are tremendous: from building more resilient communities where neighbors enjoy and comfortably support one another, to organizing focused campaigns on a variety of important and otherwise unaddressed social justice issues, to fostering deep democracy where it truly resides, at a person-to-person level. 
But the amount of work required to successfully organize these film/discussion events is far greater than it at first appears. Consistently, groups have sprung up with great passion on the part of the organizers and tremendous energy in the participants, only to falter when key individuals leave or burnout finally takes its toll.  At minimum, tasks include selecting films, finding a venue, acquiring and operating multi-media equipment, negotiating screening rights, successfully getting the word out, developing effective facilitation and conflict resolution skills, and much more.  For this concept to survive, it became obvious that a separate organizing and support arm needed to be developed. 
You can take a look at the films we’ve shown over the years at:

The Meaningful Movies Project was created in 2013 (as a separate non-profit entity) by the organizers of FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE MEANINGFUL MOVIES, with a focus on providing ongoing support to neighborhood groups operating with a similar model, to work with these groups to assure that adequate resources are available, to help them become independent and remain sustainable, to advocate for spreading this model out to far reaching communities, and to commit to helping this concept persevere.  (Information on The Meaningful Movies Project is covered above.)


  The Meaningful Movies Project



Meaningful Movies™ is a registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 
We will allow groups to use the name “Meaningful Movies”, but only with the following limited licensing requirements:

  • Request and receive permission from us to use the name “Meaningful Movies”, whether this is by itself or in any form or combination, such as “Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies”; “Meaningful Movies Matinee” or "Seattle Meaningful Movies”
  • Notify us of all events using the name “Meaningful Movies”: date, time, place, film and event description, sponsors, and your full contact information.  In turn, we will do our best to help get the word out on your event.
  • Offer a venue that is open to the public, for donations only to cover expenses, so anyone can attend without stigmas. Do not operate these events for profit. 
  • Secure appropriate screening permissions for film and other copyrighted media, and hold us fully harmless for any non-compliance;
  • Provide an opportunity for some form of participatory community conversation to take place with every film event;
  • Provide a supportive environment where opinions can be discussed openly in a safe, respectful and non-violent manner;
  • Participate in a broad coalition of other groups doing the same, to keep this concept viable and sustainable. Help expand this idea to others.
  • Meaningful Movies or The Meaningful Movies Project assumes no responsibility of liability for the actions of other groups or individuals. We advise and assist in good faith, but final decision on acting on these is solely born by others.  It is assumed that organizations and individuals we assist are completely autonomous and independent entities, separate from Meaningful Movies or The Meaningful Movies Project .
  • All groups we support are based in principles of peace, social justice, non-violence and benefit to the community.

If we can be of help, please let us know.  And if you can, please consider supporting us and those that we in turn support with your tax-deductible donations.  
Sincere thanks!

  The Meaningful Movies Project

If you would like to contact us, please send us a note to:
info (at)

If you would like to be added to our film event emailing list, please request to be added at: info (at)

Our emailings are non-invasive - usually one schedule of upcoming films and events emailed sent each week, ...and sometimes a mid-week event reminder. Occasionally, there is something important enough that we just can't help sending it out, ...but we try to keep these to a bare minimum.
Our list is very confidential - we hate spam as much as anyone.
If you request to be added, and don't get our emailings within a week or so, you may want to check your settings on your spam-blocker to allow our announcements through (emailings come from info (at) or info (at); emails from the url's and are safe.
And feel free to contact us anytime.

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If you would like to be removed from our email list at any time,
please reply to our email, with the following in the "SUBJECT" box:
"PLEASE UNSUBSCRIBE ...but don't take it personally, I just can't handle any more of all this email overload. ...thanks."

  The Meaningful Movies Project

For suggestions and comments regarding the website, please contact: info [at]