“The truest truism is ‘ignorance is bliss,’” said David Holbrooke, the Original Thinkers Festival doula and chief instigator. “I don’t think we have that choice.”
In the festival’s efforts to dispel ignorance, to shine a light not just on the problems facing the planet and its people, but on the solutions, the nascent festival is hosting a screening of several short films followed by a catered social gathering at Ghost Town Sunday. The screening is at the Nugget Theatre at 8 p.m. and will be a 90-minute program, after which attendees will stroll across the street to Ghost Town to nosh on a spread provided by Ghost Pocket Kitchen and discuss the films. The event is free.
Holbrooke said the event — part of a series that Original Thinkers is hosting throughout the summer leading up to October’s second annual gathering — is a way to “build the brand and build the community. We’re striving to give people something they’re not getting elsewhere.”
With the series of screenings and post-film chats, Holbrooke and the OT crew are providing an incubator, of sorts, for building off the concepts presented in the provocative films.
“Let’s spend time with these films and then connect,” Holbrooke said. “Let’s find the ideas in the stories.
Among the films on tap for Sunday is Holbrooke’s own directorial effort, “Take the Hill,” a film about Napa Valley winery owner, Dick Grace, who Holbrooke calls “a full-on original thinker,” and whose over-arching ethos is, “Every moment is an opportunity for compassion and kindness.”
“These are short films with big ideas,” Holbrooke said.
Telluride, he allowed, is something of a bubble, in which progressive thought, idealism and a hearty, mountain can-do attitude is prevalent. “In a world gone mad, this is a place of refuge,” he said. “It’s a good place to build a community of original thinkers and engage the world.”
Holbrooke and his crew are excited to hold their second such gathering Oct. 3-6 in Mountain Village. Several of this year’s programs have already been announced, with more in the offing. With experience and lessons taken from the inaugural gathering last October, Holbrooke happily noted organizers are “way ahead” of where they were last year. The ongoing summer series, he said, “keeps the word out.”
And, according to participants and volunteers at the first-ever OT festival, it’s a powerful message worth keeping on the radar.
Randy Burge, of Durango, made the trip to Telluride last year, curious as to what the festival was trying to say. He came away profoundly impacted.
“OT’s global mix of topics, mediums, and choreography taps into and illuminates a person’s deepest emotions,” he said. “You come away changed forever for the better in ways that challenge your living awareness.”
The volunteer experience gave him — and others who gave of their time and energy last year — an added perspective.
“Volunteering at OT adds other dimensions to the experience,” Burge said. “Working behind the scenes, you see David and his crew’s masterful orchestrations in sharing these extraordinary and provoking stories among us. OT takes the Telluride festivities to new heights.”
Confirmed programming includes, in part, “Change Is Hard,” a topic that examines just what it takes to affect change. “Signs of the Resistance” will examine the impact of art, design and image and how visual elements play into the inner workings of creating change. And, Holbrooke said, he’s invited a chef from Mexico who specializes in insect cuisine. Given the world’s overpopulation and the attendant strain on food resources, Holbrooke observed, bugs may very well become a necessary menu item in the future.
Holbrooke also said a partnership with Deep Creek Experimental will result in what he called a “very special” mine event at the Deep Creek Mine.
Sunday’s short film screening at the Nugget Theatre and post-film conversation at Ghost Town are free.
Early bird passes for and more information about the 2019 Original Thinkers Festival are available at originalthinkers.com.