A Letter to Olympin Members: "Pindemonium" the Movie

[In 2008, writer and director Navid Khonsari released “Pindemonium,” a documentary about the hobby of Olympic pin collecting. Several longtime Olympin members were featured in the film including among others Don Bigsby, Janet Grissom, Bud Kling, Sid Marantz, Oleg Vorontsov, and Pete Wade.]

by Navid Khonsari

Pindemonium movie posterIt was around this festive time last year when I first learned about Olympic Pin Trading. l was intrigued by the idea of people traveling around the world in order to trade and collect pins. Like many unfamiliar to the hobby I questioned what motivates a person to want to collect Olympic Pins. It took just one visit to Pete and Linda Wade’s house to see that the answer was passion and a thirst to become a part of the international fabric of the Olympics. The kindness they showed me, as well as the warmth and openness that came from members of the Pin Community was overwhelming and extremely touching. That was all I needed, my mind was made, I was going to Torino to make a movie.

When I arrived in Torino I realized from my many conversations and interviews that this was a hobby filled with great stories, incredible examples of friendship, and if nothing else, one of the finest examples of dedication and perseverance that I had ever come across. The passion expressed became the common link that unified this community and would become the factor, I believe, that would draw audiences to this movie.

In a world that is torn apart because of our differences, I saw the pin world as a community that could be an example of acceptance, tolerance and a celebration of our diversities. As the days went by my respect and friendship with many of you grew deeper and stronger.

Filming still from PindemoniumAfter Torino, Bessie and I traveled the world as we visited pin shows and collectors alike. From the Oslo Pin Club Show to the local LA bi-monthly pin show. From the Lausanne Collectors Fair to the 25th Olympin Pin Show in Atlanta we saw it all. We visited and interviewed many of you that went well beyond the call of duty and opened your hearts and homes to us. I owe you all my deepest gratitude. We would like to extend a very special thanks to friends such as Sid Marantz, Janet & Chuck Grissom, Gary & Gloria Wintraub, Arne Solvang, Geir Silseth, Remi Padoin, Bud Kling, Oleg Vorontsov and Don & Marie Bigsby for trusting us with your stories and hanging in there even when the interviews were going longer than expected. Meeting all of you has been the best part of this whole experience.

As for when you will be able to see “Pindemonium,” we have submitted the film to a number of film festivals and will keep you updated as to where it will be screening.

Thanks again,
Navid Khonsari
iNK Stories

Olympin Collectors Club newsletter, December 2006