If controversial subjects in Colorado were a topic on Family Feud, the survey would likely list cannabis and immigration somewhere in the top five, along with housing prices and the homeless. So when local actors and filmmakers got together to make a web series about an immigrant who likes to get high and confront neo-Nazis, they knew shit was about to be stirred.
“It's basically a feel-good piece if you take season one as a whole,” says Mile High Chronicles producer Clovis Dimulu. “Each episode is so short — four to six minutes each — it's like a series of selfies with some very Denver characters, set right in the middle of today's news headlines.”
And headlines is what Dimulu, director and longtime theater artist Mare Trevathan and actress Julia Fournier hope to gain after Mile High Chronicles debuts on the web. Set in present-day Denver, the series centers on Fournier's character, Kassandra. An immigrant from Guatemala, Kassandra is a mobile-app developer stuck driving for imaginary ride-share company Dryft.
After picking up a rider who's casually toking on a joint as he enters her car (because that happens soooooo much in Denver), Kassandra explores Colorado's legal cannabis products, experimenting with tinctures, edibles and more. But she soon finds herself entangled in the country's immigration debate, after she finds a parentless child in a burned forest and then comes face to face with xenophobia in various situations around the state.
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“I see [Kassandra] as a fighter, and she goes through emotions that I go through every day, because I'm in a similar situation," explains Fournier, who moved to America from Spain to study in English. "The fact that she came with expectations and she found something different. The fact that she is alone, far away from her family.”
The show's first episode is heavy on Mile High landmarks, featuring shots of Little Man Ice Cream, the Bluebird Theater and the Satire Lounge. Local artists make up virtually all of the production staff, while Denver musicians such as Flobots have contributed to the soundtrack. The script even incorporates some recent natural disasters, such as the summer's wildfires and drought, in order to touch on climate change.
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Although the show hits on serious topics, Dimulu promises that it doesn't take itself too seriously, pointing out that the episodes are short, and all shot on an iPhone in an effort to save money and inspire DIY filmmakers.
Mile High Chronicles premieres on Thursday, October 7, on the show's website. Check out the trailer below.