For many people, life can change in an instant, for better or worse. Such experiences are portrayed in the new drama web series PARALLELS, created, written and produced by Steven Bennett, set to debut in October with an eleven episode first season on, Youtube, and ITunes. PARALLELS follows the lives of eleven people, each different from one another in their own ways, with their own personal stories, but with one major similarity: they are all linked by extraordinary, life changing events that have dramatically impacted their lives, and their own individual outlook on life itself. The ensemble cast includes Osas Ighodaro (Miss Black USA 2010), Adam Griffith, and Chester Jones III (who features prominently in the final three episodes).

Bennett developed the concept of PARALLELS during a moment of deep reflection, as he considered not only life from his perspective, but also from the perspectives of the rest of the world. “I always wondered, we’re in the center of our story, you know? No matter how much we try to act like we’re not self-centered, we’re all self-centered. We walk around, and someone’s going through something, and someone else has a story. Everyone has a story, so I thought, ‘how about I tell other people’s stories or make up someone else’s story?’ and we realized that we’re all connected in some way. Each one of the characters in the episodes is going through a life-changing experience.”
Each different story, and its depiction of the unique experiences of the series’ characters, is what sets PARALLELS apart from other web series, Bennett says. “Every episode is its own little short film, really, and at the end, I have a little something that ties into the next episode.” Over the course of the series’ first season, each episode depicts a unique set of experiences, all more different than the last, from a young lesbian woman coming out to her deeply religious mother, to a victim of domestic violence who tries to fight back against her abusive boyfriend. All of this leads to the final episode, with a life-changing moment defined by matters of life and death.
The casting process for PARALLELS, says Bennett, was both “difficult and easy at the same time,” even though he had years of experience as an actor, not to mention that he previously worked with many of the actors who appear in the series. “I only auditioned for two roles. Everyone else is friends I knew, actors I knew or had worked with in the past, (or) actors who had auditioned for me for other projects. It all worked out. I knew I didn’t have the money to hold a bunch of casting sessions, or hire a bunch of actors. I wrote stories around the actors.”
Bennett, himself a fan of the films of directors Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN, THE WRESTLER, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM), and Spike Lee (DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA’S, INSIDE MAN, among others), feels that PARALLELS’ success lies in its intelligent approach to its storytelling, one that will not only entertain, but also enrich the lives of viewers. “It’s an inspirational story, it’s a story of redemption, it’s a story that you are good enough as a human being. It’s positive, it’s inspirational, there’s moments of spirituality in there, (but) not preachy at all. It has substance, and that’s the kind of art I like, art that’s going to say something, mean something, (and) people can be affected by it in a positive way. Hopefully PARALLELS achieves that.”