By Mark DeNicola, Collective Evolution
There are few, if any, mediums more powerful in this world at captivating our interest and inspiring change than film.
Whether it be the perfect balance of sensorial stimulation that movies have to offer, or the storytelling that lies at the core of every one ever made, we all know what it’s like to walk away from a film feeling like a different person than the one who hit play or bought the ticket.
While there are bound to be a countless number of films that will make us laugh, cry, and evolve in 2018, there are 8 in particular that standout as ones we all need to bookmark. Films that for the most part are still on their way to a local box office or Netflix category, but ones that the organizers behind the Illuminate Film Festival have had the privilege of seeing and now recommending.
Here are 8 new powerful conscious films we all need to see in 2018 (in no particular order):
Set in Swaziland, Liyana tells the story of five orphaned children entrenched in a life filled with aids, alcoholism, and abuse. With the help of a professional storyteller and powered by their innocence, these children create a new world filled with hope and dignity in the guise of a fictional character named Liyana. The film strikes a perfect balance of food for thought and amazing artistry to shed light on subject matter we, as humans and change-makers, all need to be aware of.
2. Calling All Earthlings
Calling All Earthlings takes viewers into the very interesting life of seminal desert UFO contactee George Van Tassel -a confidante of Howard Hughes and the creator of the Integratron. Pictured above, the Integratron is an electromagnetic dome built near Joshua Tree, California in the 1950s designed to rejuvenate life and provide free energy. Everything from Van Tassel’s fantastical story to the FBI’s involvement is covered in this must-see film for anyone even loosely interested in the world of exopolitics.
3. Hotel Salvation
4. The Miracle Morning
How do you start a typical day in your life? Whether it regularly involves hitting the snooze button or begrudgingly pushing yourself to get ready for work, Hal Elrod -author of the best-selling The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) -is convinced you can transform your life by doing it better. This film takes you through what Hal suggests as the ideal way to create success for yourself on a daily basis -no matter how you define it.
5. Free Lunch Society
We’ve all heard of the concept behind a basic guaranteed annual income, but to most of us it is nothing more than an abstract possibility for the future. But what if I told you that it’s not only a lot more realistic than it may seem to your mind, but that attempts to redistribute wealth and power are already underway? The film Free Lunch Society follows a narrative where economic inequality becomes a thing of the past, and power is not defined by our possessions. What impact would a reality of this nature have on our well-being? And would we all become more creative and productive?
6. Stay Human
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress-filled and frantic nature of daily life, but famous singer-songwriter and director Michael Franti takes us on a trip around the planet to discover what we can do to Stay Human. The film introduces viewers to six incredible individuals who despite incredible hardship, manage to bless their communities with life and love. The film is a wonderful tool to overcome cynicism and replace it with genuine optimism, hope and love for the human experience.
7. We Rise Up
What sets visionary entrepreneurs like Michael Beckwith, Jack Canfield, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marie Forleo and so many others apart from you and I? Believe it or not, it’s no one thing. We all carry the potential to share our own unique gifts, and it’s that potential that the work in progress film We Rise Up sets out to tap into within every viewer. The film is meant to pick up where the 2011 film Thrive, featuring Deepak Chopra, David Icke, Steven Greer and many others left off, and is a powerful call to action.
8. May I Be Happy
Stress, anxiety, and depression are no longer reserved for those riddled in the trials and tribulations of adulthood. The world’s youth -thanks in large part to societal issues and pressures such as violence, poverty, and unemployment -are struggling, and in the film May I Be Happy, a group of educators in San Francisco decide to explore how much of an impact incorporating mindfulness practices into education can have in remedying it. The film not only encourages viewers to be a part of creating a brighter future for younger generations but inspires each and every one of us to build mindfulness into the fabric of our daily life.