Festival Year: 2023, 2022

Colleen Thurston

Roles: Director

Colleen Thurston is a documentary storyteller and film programmer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her films explore the relationships between humans and the natural world and focus on Indigenous stories and perspectives. She holds an MFA from Montana State University’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking program, where she also earned a graduate certificate in American Indian Studies. Her BA in Media Arts and Anthropology is from the University of Arizona. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma where she teaches documentary studies and film production.

Colleen has produced work for the Smithsonian Channel, Vox, illumiNATIVE and museums, public television stations, and federal and tribal organizations. Colleen currently serves as the project coordinator for the Indigenous video series, Native Lens, a collaboration between Rocky Mountain PBS and KSUT Tribal Radio and is a programmer for Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

She is in production on her first feature documentary, Drowned Land, which is supported by ITVS, Vision Maker Media, Firelight Media, Nia Tero Foundation , the Redford Center and the Sundance Institute.

Colleen is a 2019-2021 Firelight Media doc lab fellow, a Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Fund Fellow, and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation.


Festival Year: 2023, 2022