The 20th annual RiverRun International Film Festival is wrapping up this weekend in the Triad. One of the final films being screened is called And Then I Go.
The movie follows two young teenagers as they plan a school shooting. It addresses the growing challenges facing students, educators and parents seeking to make schools safe.
WFDD's Eddie Garcia spoke with the film's director Vincent Grashaw.
On any hesitation in making a school shooting film:
It's already been done I felt like - a couple of times - with Elephant, and We Need To Talk About Kevin, and I didn't really know what new perspective there was. I told her [producer Rebecca Green], 'Send me the book and the script.' I read it, and I was just floored by the unique perspective it took in the shooter's point of view. It didn't really classify them in any category. I just thought that it was really brave and unique. And so I thought it was important.
On empathizing with the characters:
This stuff that I think kids go through at that age and the elevated emotions you're feeling are a lot more common in these kids that go and kill their classmates then we'd want to think about. There's a lot of reasons obviously, but that's one of the things that I thought was important, those elements that I think we all can relate to.
On the role of parents in the film:
Everything is in the headspace of this kid. So even the adults and the parents are kind of sprinkled in throughout. For example, there's not many scenes without the dad at the dinner table. He is making light of the situation, because to him, it's like, 'Kids get through s---, they figure it out.' I think him making light of it almost invalidates this kid's feelings in a way. And so that's where the disconnect comes about. As adults I don't think we realize there is a disconnect until it's either too late or you get frustrated when you're like, 'Wow, we were called to the principal's office?'
And Then I Go is playing at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 28, at the RiverRun International Film Festival. The film will be followed by a town hall conversation with director Vincent Grashaw and screenwriter Brett Haley, as well as representatives from Moms Demand Action NC and Blue Legacy Educational Solutions, to discuss the topics of bullying and violence in the classroom.