Daring. Provocative. Unforgettable.

Original Thinkers seeks out films that look to explore and understand the big ideas of our time.

The Big Idea Theatre

All of our shows but number 7 will take place in this theater, which is located in the Telluride Conference Center at the core of Mountain Village. Doors will open 30 minutes before each show so grab a seat, come listen to some terrific live music and get ready to dive in …


Show 1: A Tortoise’s Journey

Coming Soon



Show 2: Humanity Endures

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Secret Life of Muslims: Richard McKinney

Directed by: Josh Seftel 

Runtime: 5 minutes

After serving in the Middle East for the Marines, Mac McKinney came home to the US, angry with Muslims and planned to bomb a mosque in Muncie, Indiana. After going to an Islamic Center, he was given a Koran, which changed his life, sending him on a new path where he actually converted and became Muslim. 

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Secret Life of Muslims: Rais Bhuiyan

Directed by: Josh Seftel

Runtime: 5 minutes

After 9-11, a white supremacist named Mark Strohman went on a deadly rampage to kill Muslims and one of his victims was a man named Rais Bhuiyan who he shot in the face. Bhuiyan survived and his attacker was sent to death row where remarkably, the two men struck up an unlikely friendship that endured until Strohman was executed. 



Show 3: Mother of All Issues

Coming Soon


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Turning Tables

Directed by: Chrisann Hessing

Runtime: 15 minutes

Music is ever-changing and evolving with genres we have never imagined coming into existence including PowWow Techno. It’s the brainchild of Joshua DePerry, also known as Classic Roots who is a Native Canadian mixing the latest beats with indigenous influences.


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Stanley Stellar: Here for this Reason

Directed by: Eric Leven

Runtime: 15 minutes

The short documentary, Stanley Stellar: Here for This Reason delves into the story of Stanley Stellar, a singular character in the gay rights movement who chronicled its history over forty years with his camera. The film both explains how the world of gay men changed in New York but also what Stellar saw and captured along the way.


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St. Louis Superman

Directed by: Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan

Runtime: 28 minutes

Bruce Franks Jr. is unlike any other politician you have ever met. A 33-year-old battle rapper, he is also a state representative from St. Louis, Missouri who is known as Superman to his constituents. Inspired by the events of Ferguson activist, he has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most exciting and unapologetic young leaders in the country. This short documentary explores the mental trauma he’s had to deal with since his 9-year-old brother was shot and killed in front of him telling his story as he works to become a leader for his community.



Show 7: TBD

Coming Soon



Show 8: Unearthing Culture

Coming Soon




Directed by: Stewart Thorndike

Runtime: 5 minutes

Movements are often defined by images and the photo of a young and defiant Gloria Richardson pushing away a National Guardsman’s rifle during a 60’s civil rights protest is iconic. This sharp doc, playing as part of the show Character of Our Country, gives us the context around the photo and spends time with Gloria today.

Synapse Theatre

We are playing an assortment of films at the Nugget located on Main St Telluride starting Wednesday October 2 through October 6th. OT pass holders get priority access but tickets are available at the door for $10.

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Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone
(if you're a girl)

Directed by: Carol Dysinger

Runtime: 40 minutes

Afghanistan, constantly roiled by sectarian violence, is a tough place to make a movie but Carol Dysinger’s documentary about young Afghan girls learning to read, write - and skateboard - in Kabul, offers some peace and real hope amidst the mayhem. Executive Produced by Orlando Von Einsiedel (who directed Lost and Found in Show 9, Humanity Endures), this short documentary explores a place called Skateistan, which recruits kids from poor neighborhoods to come and shred there while also teaching them to read, write and think.