Screenwriter, director, activist
This summer, CU Denver will unveil a series of murals painted by world-renowned artist Detour that shines a spotlight on the achievements of the university's alumni. This article is part of a series that examines the experiences of the alumni featured in the mural.
For screenwriter, director, and activist Marin Lepore, storytelling is more than just a profession. It’s the product of a lifetime of experiences that have unfolded all over the world.
Born in China, Marin was adopted and moved to the U.S. at a young age. She grew up in Colorado with her three sisters, all adopted from different parts of China. When Marin was 10, her family moved to Beijing so that she and her sisters could learn more about their culture. “My parents have always been open about our heritage,” Marin says.
It was in Beijing that Marin developed her passion for film. “Film is such a powerful means to connect with people and share stories. It’s also collaborative. You have writers, directors, and editors — so many people are working together to create one final product,” she says.
But it wasn’t just film that interested Marin; it was film’s ability to serve as a platform for representation. “As a woman, as a woman of color, and as a gay woman, I learned how powerful it is to see yourself on screen — to have your story be shared in a way that other people can relate to."
Film is such a powerful means to connect with people and share stories.
In Beijing, Marin fell in love with urban living. “I’m such a city person,” she says. It was her desire to live in a big city that led her back to Denver. After studying at the Colorado Film School, Marin came to CU Denver, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Film & Television.
At CU Denver, Marin joined a creative community of artists who loved to cheer each other on. “The professors, the students — everyone wanted everyone to thrive. The energy and the vibe, it was just so supportive,” she says.
Marin also found energy and inspiration in CU Denver’s vibrant culture. “[The campus] was just so active and fun — there were so many things going on. I felt like I was part of something bigger.”
Marin with cast and crew from her web-series “I Put the Bi in Bitter” on the red carpet for ClexaCon, 2019.
Marin speaking at the Colorado Dragon Film Festival, 2019.
Marin is one of five filmmakers participating in Cine Fe's 2021-2022 fellowship program.
Marin and Thomas “Detour” Evans in front of the mural on the CU Denver campus.
Marin directing on set for her web-series “I Put the Bi in Bitter” Season 3.
In her career, Marin has channeled her interests in diversity and inclusion through both art and activism. “A lot of my work comes from wanting to be inclusive and share the stories that we don’t often see,” she says. Marin and her production company co-founder Dannah Elizabeth are committed to “creating authentic stories that are fun and accessible and also diverse. They include people who are seldom represented on screen.”
For Marin, it’s not just what – or who – is on screen that matters. “Dannah and I are very passionate about representing women, and not just on screen. It’s really important to diversify the crew behind the camera, as well.”
As an artist, Marin’s inclusion in the mural project holds special significance. “To be one of the very few who were selected is such an honor. But I’m also such a big fan of Detour’s work — his style, his art, his murals. To think that my face is going to be on a building, it’s so exciting. I can’t wait to show people.”