Calm and competent, Grace (Brie Larsen, in her first leading role) is a young counselor at a California care unit for at-risk teens (a pre-stardom LaKeith Stanfield and Kaitlyn Dever). Funny, tough yet empathetic, Grace leads a team of counselors (including another pre-stardom Rami Malek), who look to her for guidance whenever they face challenges with the daily influx of teens. However, her cool facade begins to crack in the pressure cooker atmosphere as she and some of the unruly residents are reminded of past and present abuses.
Maui-born director Destin Daniel Cretton based the film on his own experience working in a group facility for teenagers. There is an authenticity to the daily routine-doling out of meds, contraband searches, forced recreational games like Wiffle ball-which accentuates the bigger themes of family trauma and the road to healing.
The first iteration of SHORT TERM 12 was a short film, which would premiere at Sundance in 2009. Cretton soon adapted it into this feature film version, with a world premiere at SXSW in 2013, winning the Grand Jury Prize. This would lead to an illustrious Hollywood career, from co-writing THE SHACK, as well as continuing his collaboration with Larsen with THE GLASS HOUSE and JUST MERCY (HIFF39 Centerpiece Gala). At the time of this writing, SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS broke box office records introducing millions to the first MCU Asian American superhero.
HIFF is honored to celebrate Destin Daniel Cretton with the HIFF41 Maverick Award and present SHORT TERM 12 and reintroduce it to HIFF audiences.
The NOVEMBER 11TH theater screening of this film will be followed by an extended discussion with HIFF41 Honoree, director Destin Daniel Cretton.