While traveling the world making deals on the 2011 Sundance hit he produced, Evan Glodell’s “Bellflower,” Vincent Grashaw felt as if he had made ten years’ worth of film world contacts. So once he finished his “Bellflower” tour, he decided it was finally time to make a film out of the script he had been working on for more than a decade.
“Coldwater” is about a juvenile rehabilitation center where delinquents go to wilderness boot camp while a war veteran leads a cadre of counselors in disciplining them.
Grashaw wrote “Coldwater” with a writing partner, but the seeds of the story were planted when he was 18. “The kids on my hockey team reminded me of the characters in the movie ‘Kids,'” Grashaw told Indiewire. “One day, our goalie was gone — he was sent away to one of these places by his family. When he got out, he never played with us again. He had fallen down a darker path in life, and it was kind of sad knowing that they sent him there out of desperation.”
In 2004, “Coldwater” was set to be made into a film with name actors and a different director, but Grashaw considers it fortunate that that version never happened. Now, he’s able to make his film the way he wants, with a large cast of unknown actors and the perfect location. Grashaw is forgoing the tax breaks he could get for shooting the film in another state so he can shoot in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California, close to Reno, Nevada.
Two years after production stopped on the film the first time around, these kinds of rehabilitation centers were in the news after a teen, Martin Anderson, died in a videotaped forced exercise in Panama City, Florida. “They prosecuted the counselors, but they were all acquitted,” said Grashaw. “There just isn’t much accountability. This film is about awareness, but it’s also about being a voice for these kids.”
Grashaw also is producing “Coldwater” with Skipping Stone Entertainment’s Kris Dorrance and Mike Dorrance, and Gare Farrand Entertainment’s Dave Gare and Sarah Farrand. Joe Bilotta of Flying Pig Productions is an executive producer.
Grashaw and his team are currently casting for the film, which is scheduled to start production in August.