About this project
Colorado is the ground zero of ganja. The politics, the culture, the media, the medicinal, the recreational, the educational, the economical -- all facets of our community are seeing the effects -- both positive and negative -- following legalization on January 1st, 2014. So, we're shooting a feature length documentary film about the normalization of the marijuana industry in our home state.
On January 26th 2014, Maureen Dowd of the The New York Times wrote that the legalization of marijuana is “… the huge social experiment transforming Colorado as jittery politicians press on the gas and brake at the same time, state government builds a regulatory system from scratch, entrepreneurs deal in "Breaking Bad" cash, and towns decide if they will allow retail pot stores (Aspen) or not (Vail).”
The film will focus on the multiple impacts of legalization as the first step of a cultural shift across the country and possibly the world. The pendulum could swing on either side of the issue and we are capturing this great social experience as it unfolds. Don’t worry, we won’t give away the ending...the outcome of this controversial topic will unfold for many years to come.
The story is here and now and we are the team to tell it. Colorado is, after-all, where marijuana prohibition began in 1937, and has since had a complex history. This objective film will be told through the Denver Post as they cover all sides of this evolving issue and industry.
A central character is the Denver Post's Marijuana Editor and Editor in Chief of The Cannabist, Ricardo Baca and his fellow reporters in the newsroom and in the field. In December 2013, "Saturday Night Live" performed a skit about the world’s first ever marijuana editor and that following Monday the Denver Post confirmed that the rumor was true. Since the announcement, Ricardo Baca has been interviewed by the likes of the New York Times, Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN. He’s also bantered with Stephen Colbert on "The Colbert Report" and sat on the couch with the ladies of "The View." The Denver Post’s decision to cover the legalization of marijuana is the first endorsement of the marijuana industry as legitimate by a major media source. This is not only a story about the legitimization of a new business, it is also the story of how journalism finds new tools to stay relevant.
We have an exclusive theatrical agreement with the Denver Post and they are in complete support of the film while understanding our need to be objective.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT NOW
Send us to the big screen! The objective goal of the project is to complete a rough cut in the fall of 2014 for submissions to film festivals in 2015. Production will be complete by November 2014, as a number of states will have legalization on the ballot.
The time is now! The film will capture a moment in history that has the potential to impact elections across the country and change history. We are witness to a pivotal shift in our society that has been the result of a grassroots movement and ROLLING PAPERS is our opportunity to share a first hand account of what’s happening in Colorado with the world.
The soundtrack! Music and marijuana go hand in hand and obtaining licensing fees for a film is a huge expense.
Bottom line: WE CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR HELP! Your support will go toward finishing production and prepare us to hit the festival circuit. All donations to the film are tax deductible through our partnership with the nonprofit Denver Film Society.
ROLLING PAPERS ONLINE
We love a good hashtag almost as much as good ol’ hash itself! Help us spread the word via social media!
Mitch Dickman, Director Mitch is an award-winning producer and director in both film and theatre. He is the founder and director of Denver-based Listen Productions, a full-service media production company. His credits include: feature film, HANNA RANCH; feature film, A TEST OF WILLS; Honduran travel show "Off the Radar;" short film, MORTAR (2006 Starz Denver Film Festival Official Selection); stage production and Macbeth adaptation, Wild West; and stage production and feature documentary film DNC MEDIAMOCKRACY.
Zachary Armstrong, Director of Photography Zachary has worked in the camera and post-production departments for over a decade, and has built a working relationship with director Mitch Dickman by shooting and editing their last 3 feature films: HANNA RANCH, A TEST OF WILLS and DNC MEDIAMOCKRACY (which he co-directed as well). He also shot the film THE LONELY LIFE, starring Will Oldham.
Britta Erickson, Producer Britta is the director of the annual Starz Denver Film Festival and the popular outdoor summer music and film series at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Film on the Rocks. Britta has served on film juries around the country including SXSW, CineVegas, Cleveland International Film Festival, River Run Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival. Prior to joining the DFS in 1999, Britta was the founding executive director of the Acoma Center, a nonprofit performing arts venue in downtown Denver, and co-founded the nationally recognized Curious Theatre Company. Britta produced the documentary film, CONVENTION (Directed by AJ Shcnack, 2009), which was bought by IFC Films and Sundance Channel.
Daniel Junge, Producer Daniel is an Oscar and Emmy winning (and two-time Oscar nominated) documentary filmmaker. He has also been nominated for an Emmy, won four regional Emmys and won awards at numerous film festivals. Junge made his feature-length directorial debut with CHIEFS, which premiered at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival and won the award for Best Documentary and subsequently broadcast on PBS. Most recently, Junge completed SAVING FACE for HBO and Channel Four, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short and and an Emmy for Best Documentary. It broadcast on HBO in North America, Channel Four in the UK and dozens of broadcasters globally.
Karl Kister, Producer Karl is a documentary film producer, arts advocate, and investor in a range of sectors: from real estate and technology to alternative energy and media. He is the producer of the feature documentary HANNA RANCH and co-produced the documentary KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON, which marked its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2014. He is also the executive producer on two upcoming independent narrative films, MA and WALDEN. Previously, Karl was Chief Operating Officer for New York City based Digital Telemedia (now Logicworks). Prior to DTI, Karl was a project architect for Aldo Rossi Studio di Architectura also in New York City.
Alison Greenberg Millice, Producer Alison is a documentary film producer and Advancement Director for the Denver Film Society. SAVING FACE was her first producer credit, which won Best Documentary Short from the Academy Awards in 2012 and an Emmy for Best Documentary. It aired on HBO on March 8th, 2012 to over a million viewers and since then has aired in 30 different markets around the world. She has four other documentaries currently in production. Previously, Alison worked as executive assistant to the CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute in New York City, which was founded after 9/11 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal along with the Tribeca Film Festival.
Katie Shapiro, Producer Katie is the founder and principal of Katie Shapiro Media, a media boutique specializing in freelance editorial and publicity for documentary films and film festivals. Current and past clients include: HANNA RANCH (Directed by Mitch Dickman, 2012), THE LOST BIRD PROJECT (Directed by Deborah Dickson, 2012), Aspen Film, Stanley Film Festival, Starz Denver Film Festival and Women+Film Voices Film Festival. In 2010, Katie co-founded the first official young patrons extension of the Denver Film Society, Reel Social Club, and sits on the DFS' board of directors. She previously worked as a lifestyle public relations executive in New York City before relocating to Denver in 2007.
Risks and challenges
As a Colorado based team, we know the right people to work with to cover all angles of this story and get it done. We are an award-winning team that knows the ins and outs of production, editing, distribution and exhibition. We are dedicated to keeping our team and the storytellers local while supporting the film industry in Colorado.
That said, no project is without risks. Lack of money is obviously the biggest one. Kickstarter is an all or nothing crowd-funding platform. Rolling Papers only receives your pledges if we reach our goal. If the goal is not achieved, your pledge will not be processed. We have already started production and have some investments lined up, so your support will help us cross the finish line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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