Colleen Thurston

Position: Project Producer
Categories: Native Lens Team

Colleen Thurston is a  documentary filmmaker, educator and programmer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. As an Indigenous non-fiction storyteller, her films tend to explore the relationships between humans and the natural world and focus on Native stories and perspectives. She holds an MFA in documentary filmmaking  from Montana State University, where she also earned a graduate certificate in American Indian Studies. Her BA in Media Arts and Anthropology is from the University of Arizona. Colleen has been working in the Native film industry since 2010 and has worked for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Channel and has produced and crewed documentaries for museums, public television stations and federal and tribal organizations. Her work has been supported by ITVS, Vision Maker Media, Firelight Media, Nia Tero, Sundance Institute, Patagonia, Creative Capital  and the Redford Center. Colleen also curates film and storytelling events, with an emphasis on Indigenous film. In addition to her work as Project Producer for Native Lens, she is a programmer for Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma where she teaches documentary studies and film production. Colleen is a 2023 Sundance Indigenous Film Fund Fellow and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.