December 5, 2003, Stephen Simon's Indigo won the Audience
Choice Award at the 4th annual Santa Fe Film Festival. The film
is about prescient children who can communicate via extra-sensory
means and how they are able to work with disbelievers and, in
time, win them over. It was shot in 20 days on $500,000, made
from start to finish within eight months, and completed just
10 days before the festival.
is a film about loneliness, redemption, and the healing powers
and grace of the new generation of Indigo (psychic and gifted)
children being born into the world. Although the story is fictional,
the emotions and actions of the film resonate with the spiritual
dynamics of life today.
dramatic core of the film is the relationship that develops
between a man whose life and family have dissolved due to a
fateful mistake and his 10 year-old granddaughter with whom
he goes on the run to protect her from a would-be kidnapper.
Along the way, he discovers the power of his granddaughter's
gifts which forever alter the lives of everyone she encounters.
Simon, producer of What Dreams May Come and Somewhere
in Time, feels that filmmakers "have broken a pact
with adult audiences," and are now targeting most of their
films to teen-agers. Indigo was meant to be a movie that
hopefully makes people feel better about being human beings,
and shows who we are and why we're hereon a very small
budget. That's what spiritual cinema is all about now. It's
not about big movie stars or special effects. It's about going
to an audience which the studios have forgotten, which is adults."
Ultimately, Simon said, he hopes to help found a cable/satellite
channel that offers a steady diet of such films which are intended
to be spiritually uplifting without being preachy.
Indigo the movie •
Cast and Crew • Spiritual
Simon is a veteran producer whose distinguished career includes
the Presidency of two major production companies and the development
and production of many well-known films such as: Smokey and
the Bandit, The Goodbye Girl, The Electric Horseman, Somewhere
in Time, the Academy Award winning What Dreams May Come,
and the Emmy-nominated Lifetime movie Homeless to Harvard:
The Liz Murray Story. He is also author of the definitive
work The Force is With You: Mystical Movie Messages that
Inspire Our Lives, published by Walsch Books, an imprint
of Hampton Roads.
Recognizing the powerful effectboth positive and negativethat
the media has upon our culture, Simon has become the leading
spokesperson for a new genre he calls "Spiritual Cinema."
These films examine who we are and why we are here, and illuminate
the human condition through stories and images that inspire
us to explore who we can be as humanity when we operate at our
very best. Spiritual Cinema reflects our beliefs and values
and illustrates their impact upon our lives and our society.
In this context, spiritual refers not to religion but to the
unseen divine essence that is life force itself. History has
revealed that individuals or cultures that lose their connection
to this essence become devoid of love, respect, and compassion.
To firmly establish Spiritual Cinema as a formidable force within
the entertainment industry, Simon recently produced and directed
the feature film Indigo, set for release in 2004. While
Indigo embraces the values and principles of Spiritual
Cinema, the financing and production of this film is a truly
miraculous story of faith and vision. Collaborating with author
and noted peace emissary James Twyman (whose "Beloved Community"
helped to finance the production) and Neale Donald Walsch (author
of the Conversations With God series, who co-wrote the
screenplay and starred in the film), Simon firmly stakes his
claim as a trailblazer in the annals of motion picture history.
An explosive grass roots movement called "Spiritual Cinema
Communities," which is evolving as a result of Simon's
seminars and courses, has contributed to the word-of-mouth promotion
of spiritual films. Numerous invitations to screen Indigo
at prestigious film festivals serve as a clear demonstration
of support for his sacred vision. Simon is again collaborating
with Neale Donald Walsch in the development and production of
the motion picture Conversations With God, based on Neale's
book and starring Neale, as himself. The film is slated for
production in 2004.
As a speaker and presenter, Simon is challenging and provocative
as he shares insights gained through his experiences as a filmmaker,
storyteller, and student of the paradoxes of the human condition.
Media and entertainment have moved beyond culture to become
a driving force in the global economy. With anecdotes from his
prolific career in the entertainment industry, he illustrates
the impact of environments and experiences that ignite passion
and inspire genius. Media and business represent an important
connection for humans, making us feel a part of something larger
than ourselves. With integrity and authenticity, both can contribute
to the enrichment of the spirit.
Stephen Simon is co-founder and president of Moving
Messages: The Institute for Spiritual Entertainment, Inc.,
an educational, development, and distribution non-profit corporation
for feature films, television shows, documentaries, and educational
and training programs. Its mission is to use traditional and
new media to express ideas that illumine and inspire individual
and social transformation. With a focus on spirituality and
film, he teaches several seminars and writes a nationally syndicated
column called "The Movie Mystic." He is a graduate
of UCLA and Loyola Law School and was admitted to the California
Bar in 1974. He practiced law from 1974 to 1976.
Force Is With You
In The Force Is With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire
Our Lives, author Stephen Simon discusses over
seventy films and concludes that those films, and scores of
others, constitute a genre of film (Spiritual Cinema) that has
yet to be recognized as such, until now. (Spiritual Cinema does
not pertain to traditional religious films.) Simon also gives
the reader a first-hand insight into the spiritual messages
of these films and the film making process itself; furthermore,
he makes daring predictions about the future of spiritual filmed
entertainment. From films about "Reality and Time"
(such as Matrix, Vanilla Sky, and Beautiful Mind)
to films about "Visionary Adventures" (such as Star
Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Lost Horizon) to
films about "The Power of Love" (such as It's A
Wonderful Life, Cast Away, and Sleepless in Seattle),
Simon's new book explores and illuminates inspiring movie messages
from the unique perspective of a man who has actually produced
classic films in the very genre his book examines Somewhere
in Time (Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer)
and What Dreams May Come (Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding,
Jr., Annabella Sciorra). Simon's book includes separate chapters
detailing the behind-the-scenes saga of both these films.
Force connects two of the most extraordinary phenomena
of our times: movies and spirituality. Box office grosses and
ancillary sales for films have recently broken all previous
records. The dawning of the new millennium has seen an explosion
in interest in all aspects of spiritual entertainment. The publishing
industry has recognized this phenomenon for years and has established
a whole new category called Visionary Books, several of which
are always on best seller lists. Television has embraced the
phenomenon with huge hits such as Touched by an Angel
and Crossing Over. The music industry has embraced visionary
music (such as Enya and Enigma) for several years and platinum
albums by such stars as Madonna and Jewel have recently contained
spiritual themes. Hollywood has yet to capitalize on the power
of Spiritual Cinema and its potential to lead box office revenues.
Simon believes that the time has now come for the film industry
to recognize Spiritual Cinema as its own genre, represented
by an existing audience numbered in the tens of millions who
eagerly await films that embody the power and hope of visionary
"As we evolve as a species, we hit certain key moments
in that evolution when old ways are discarded and new maps of
behavior are forged. Movies are the most electrifying communications
medium ever devised and the natural conduit for inspiring ourselves
to look into the eternal issues of who we are and why we are
here." from the Introduction to The Force is
With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives.