The Lake

2012 · 11:14 · written by Tara Garwood · produced and directed by Tara Garwood & William R. Coughlan

A Tarakata Films production in association with Tohubohu Productions

The Lake tells the story of two sisters, each dealing in her own way with the childhood loss of their father. Claire still lives at home with Mom and spends her days on the lake in their father’s old rowboat. Laney has built her own life in the city, but when she comes back to visit, the sisters’ discoveries will dredge up the past and the secrets that bind this family together may just tear them apart.


About Tarakata Films

Tarakata Films is a DC-based independent production company dedicated to producing affecting, character driven, and often quirky films. Our goal is to create work for the talented, passionate, and hardworking film professionals in the DC/Baltimore area. We also strive to promote the role of women in filmmaking and to produce films that feature interesting, complex female characters, especially in the horror genre.

I did not originally intend to explore women’s issues with ‘The Lake,’ but as I wrote and refined the script, delving into my own fears, I realized that’s what I was doing. I come from a restrained New England family, a world where we don’t talk about the unseemly, the dark corners of life. Instead, we keep quiet and try to maintain a semblance of normalcy. The burden of keeping secrets usually falls to the matriarch of the family and I realized as I worked on ‘The Lake’ that this is because of that maternal instinct to protect our children by sheltering them from harsh truths. But are we really protecting them? Or are we dooming them to a never-ending cycle of repeating the mistakes of earlier generations? The Lake’ uses the deadly extremes of the horror genre to explore the consequences of drowning our secrets.
— Tara Garwood
My introduction to ‘The Lake’ came as the result of an overheard mention — Tara was seeking a shooting location, and I mentioned that I might be able to secure one from family. Recognizing that, should we use the location, I would likely be present on set, I offered to provide additional assistance, perhaps securing paperwork and otherwise keeping the process organized. But as we began scouting and planning, Tara and I both realized that we shared much of the same sensibility, and found ourselves throwing ideas back and forth as though we’d worked together for years. We each brought very different experiences to the table, and our outlooks not only meshed, but truly complemented each other; my investment in the both the project itself and in collaborating with Tara quickly grew. When casting needs dictated that Tara herself would step into a major role in front of the camera, she asked if I’d be willing to take the leap and co-direct; I readily accepted. The underlying story is most definitely Tara’s, but my hope is that in combining our skills — along with the phenomenal contributions of an extraordinarily dedicated and talented cast and crew — we have crafted a piece that extends beyond a personal narrative and becomes a more widely accessible (and entertaining) tale.
— William R. Coughlan
TIVA DC Peer Awards Rosebud Film Festival IndieCapitol Awards