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Meet the 2013 SXSW Filmmakers #4: Vincent Grashaw Uncovers the Issues of Juvenile Rehabilitation in 'Coldwater'

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire February 27, 2013 at 2:25PM

"Coldwater," directed and co-written by "Bellflower" producer Vincent Grashaw, follows the story of a teenage boy who is forcefully taken from his home and put into a reform facility in the middle of the wilderness. "Coldwater" shines the spotlight on the many pressing issues concerning juvenile rehabilitation in the United States.
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Vincent Grashaw

"Coldwater," directed and co-written by "Bellflower" producer Vincent Grashaw, follows the story of a teenage boy who is forcefully taken from his home and put into a reform facility in the middle of the wilderness. "Coldwater" shines the spotlight on the many pressing issues concerning juvenile rehabilitation in the United States.

What it's about: A teenage boy is sent to a juvenile reform facility in the wilderness. As we learn about the tragic events that sent him there, his struggle becomes one for survival with the inmates, the counselors, and with the retired war colonel in charge.

What was your biggest challenge in bringing "Coldwater" to the screen? Getting someone to commit to funding the film was the biggest challenge - as it always is when it comes to making movies. I started writing the script at 18 years old in 1999. Over these years, it was almost made several times, with name actors, larger budgets, but always seemed to fall apart... I feel as if I went through a decade lesson of learning what the industry is all about during this time and changed quite a bit as a filmmaker. Persistence was always very important. In the end, everything came together the way you always dream it would: Joe Bilotta, the executive producer, simply read the script and told me he wanted to do it.

"Coldwater"
What's the film that most inspired you? For "Coldwater" it was the reality of the subject matter which drove my research and development of the script. The social relevance had a heavy hand in my pursuit in bringing this film to light.

What would you like SXSW audiences to come away with after seeing your film? I didn't want to make a film that was preachy on the reality of the subject matter. I want the film to stand on it's own as a compelling story, but I definitely want the audience to come away with a larger awareness of the issues that exist in juvenile rehabilitation in the United States.

What do you have in the works?  I'm aiming to direct my next feature in 2013. I'm currently involved in producing several projects with Coatwolf. My writing partner and I finally finished our next script which took us six years to complete... It's a larger scale, black-and-white-period-piece-love-story during the golden-age of Hollywood, which I plan on producing down the road.

Indiewire invited SXSW directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.

Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on March 8 for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: SXSW Film Festival, Meet the 2013 SXSW Filmmakers