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Synopsis: Contact the producer for interview. Downloads: 91-, 130-, 231-word synopsis as pdf file.

ORIGINAL MINDS A Tom Weidlinger Film. Length: 56:45 Format: HDCAM 1080i (High Definition) © 2011

(91 words) Five teenagers stigmatized by being in Special Ed. struggle to articulate how their brains work and discover that they are smarter than they thought. In a one-size-fits-all educational system, kids with learning disabilities suffer from lack of self-esteem. They become alienated and drop out. But the protagonists of ORIGINAL MINDS buck the trend. They work intensively with the filmmaker to tell their own stories. Their narratives reveal the unique approach to learning that each must discern and claim as his or her own if they are to succeed in the world.

(130 words) Five teenagers stigmatized by being in Special Ed. struggle to articulate how their brains work and discover that they are smarter than they thought. In a one-size-fits-all educational system, kids with learning disabilities suffer from lack of self-esteem. They become alienated and drop out. But the protagonists of ORIGINAL MINDS buck the trend. They work intensively with the filmmaker to tell their own stories. Their narratives reveal the unique approach to learning that each must discern and claim as his or her own if they are to succeed in the world. The film eschews the confusing thicket of clinical labels for learning disorders to touch on fundamental truths about how we all acquire and process information.

(231 words) Wounded by the stigma of being in “special ed.” the five teenage protagonists of ORIGINAL MINDS struggle to articulate how their brains work. Kerrigan is a deep thinker, often seeing connections between disparate ideas and concepts, but when it comes to telling you what you’ve just said he hasn’t a clue. When Nee Nee writes her fingers have a hard time keeping up with her thoughts. People often get annoyed with Nattie because she doesn’t know when to stop teasing and kidding around. Marshall spends a lot of time in the bathroom, where his parents can’t bug him about homework. He says he wants to “turn over a new leaf” but he’s lost nine of his last fifteen math assignments. Members of Deandre’s family tell him he is not college materiel. He’s determined to prove them wrong. Parents, teachers, friends, therapists, and coaches all weigh in, sometimes with conflicting views, but it’s the kids who become the experts in this film, as they work intensively with the filmmaker to tell their stories and discover that they are smarter than they thought. Their narratives reveal the unique approach to learning that each must discern and claim as his or her own if they are to succeed in the world. Original Minds eschews the confusing thicket of labels for learning disorders and reveals universal truths about how we all acquire and process information.


© 2011, Tom Weidlinger/Moira Productions • site by jcampstudio.com