To kick-off the Project, we’d like to explore a topic at the heart of the film: Home. However you choose to interpret “Home” is entirely up to you—we welcome different perspectives and outside-of-the-box ideas!
HOW TO SUBMIT
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We’re so pleased to say #ShortTerm12 is on Richard Brody’s Best movies of 2013 list for the New Yorker, alongside some truly astounding films: http://cidm.co/1czaRYf
The world of group homes is not an unfamiliar one to SHORT TERM 12 writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton. In fact, he loosely modeled one of the film’s characters, Nate – an unsure newcomer to the line staff at the facility – after himself.
“After I graduated from college [Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego], I couldn’t find work, and a friend of mine mentioned a group home for at-risk teenagers that was hiring,” the director recalls. On his first day, a seemingly nice kid had a lovely chat with Cretton – and then blew up and threw a chair at him from across the room. “It was by far, one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had – at first. I was really afraid of doing something wrong and messing up these kids more than they already were. But after a month or so, I fell in love with it.” He stayed on for two years.
It is an experience that stuck with Cretton, even as the Hawaii native was getting his Master’s Degree in Film and New Media from San Diego State University. There, a few years later, he created a 20 minute short for his thesis project, titled “Short Term 12” – based on his experiences at the home. The film went on to win the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2009 – and prompted Cretton to make a feature version. “I was kind of a novice filmmaker, and somebody told me that if you were going to Sundance, you’d better have a feature script ready. So I wrote one.” That script eventually found its way to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where it was one of five scripts in 2010 to win the Nicholl Fellowship. “That was a big stamp of approval,” he says.
The short had featured a male, named Denim, as the lead supervisor of the home’s “Line Staff,” the home’s counselors who tend to the kids each day. But for the feature version, Cretton decided to switch things around, creating a new character, Grace, in the supervisor’s role.
Cast in the role was actress BRIE LARSON, of whom Cretton was a fan – not only for the searing emotional role she played in Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” (as Woody Harrelson’s eldest daughter), but for her comedic work on “United States of Tara.” “She’s just so raw and spontaneous, even in comedy scenes,” the director says. “She always feels like she’s shooting from her instincts, as opposed to some kind of pre-planned, rehearsed performance.”
Larson, who was filming another project in Georgia, was sent the script, and immediately connected. “Within 10 pages, it was just a role that really spoke to me,” the actress says. “I felt it had a lot of great architecture to it, and was just a big space for me to work and play with.” She and Cretton spoke via Skype, and, says the director, “I saw Grace very quickly in her. She was really funny, but she also had something about her that was extremely thoughtful. She would stop and think about things, and it was in those moments where I saw a combination of intensity and lightness, and I knew she would kick ass as Grace. And she did.”
The actress immediately dove in to develop her character, the director notes. “She worked her tail off to get under Grace’s skin, and it was a joy to watch. She asked smart questions and devoured as much information as she could, to become an expert not on group homes, but on Grace – and the different things she could be feeling at every moment. It’s the reason her performance is believable and realistic – she had a specific take on everything for her. She never does the same thing twice.”
At just 23, Brie Larson has already built an impressive career as one of the more versatile young actresses working today as she has moved effortlessly from onegenre to another with every project she takes on.
Brie had two films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “The Spectacular Now” opposite Shailene Woodley, where she plays Miles Teller’s seemingly perfectgirlfriend. Brie also co-stars in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, “Don Jon’s Addiction” playing his cynical/realist younger sister.
She was recently seen in the hugely successful film, “21 Jump Street” as the love interest to Jonah Hill, and received rave reviews for her supporting role in the OrenMoverman film “Rampart”, playing the incorrigible, defiant daughter of Woody Harrelson, a dirty cop in the Los Angeles’ Rampart division.
Brie garnered substantial acclaim for her portrayal of “Kate”, Toni Collette’s sarcastic and rebellious daughter, in Showtime’s breakout drama United States of Tara,which was created by Academy Award-winning writer Diablo Cody and based on an original idea by Steven Spielberg.
Other notable credits include Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” where she played the rock star ex-girlfriend of Michael Cera, and Noah Baumbach’s“Greenberg” as a young temptress flirting with Ben Stiller. She has appeared on stage at the prestigious Williamstown Theater Festival in the role of “Emily” in“Our Town,” and recurred on the F/X cult favorite series, “The League” as an overly amorous Au Pair.
In addition to acting, Brie is a writer and director. Her short film, “The Arm” won the prize for Best Comedic Storytelling at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.
A native of Sacramento, Brie started studying drama at the early age of 6, as the youngest student ever to attend the American Conservatory Theater in SanFrancisco.
Brie currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
JOHN GALLAGHER JR. (Mason)
New York actor John Gallagher Jr. has shown his talent and versatility in television, film and theater.
Currently, Gallagher is filming the second season of Aaron Sorkin’s smash hit THE NEWSROOM for HBO. He stars as ‘Jim Harper’ opposite Jeff Daniels, EmilyMortimer, Alison Pill, Olivia Munn and Dev Patel. The show follows journalists as they set out on a patriotic and quixotic mission to do the news well in the face ofcorporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements.
Gallagher’s other television credits include: LAW & ORDER: SVU, LOVE MONKEY, LAW & ORDER: CI, NYPD BLUE, ED, THE WEST WING, andLAW & ORDER.
No stranger to the big screen, Gallagher’s past film credits include: MARGARET, JONAH HEX, WHATEVER WORKS, THE GOOD STUDENT, and PIECESOF APRIL.
Gallagher most notable achievement is his Tony award win for his performance as ‘Moritz Stiefel’ in Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's rock musical SPRINGAWAKENING; he also received a Drama Desk and Drama League nomination. He also recently played Johnny aka ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ in Green Day's Broadwaymusical, AMERICAN IDIOT and Lee in the 2011 critically acclaimed Broadway production of JERUSALEM.
His other theatre credits include: David Lindsay Abaire's Pulitzer Prize Winning Play RABBIT HOLE, CURRENT EVENTS, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, PORTAUTHRORITY and FARRAGUT NORTH.
KAITLYN DEVER (Jayden)
Kaitlyn Dever (pronounced “dee-vur”) is one of Hollywood’s fastest rising young talents. From work with talents such as Clint Eastwood to Diane Lane, Dever hassteadily proven to industry decision makers that she is one to watch. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and at the age of 16, she already has several high profilefilms and television credits under her belt. Dever is currently starring on the ABC show Last Man Standing as Tim Allen’s character’s youngest daughter, and willsoon be seen shining in the films The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12. She showcases her versatility in the critically acclaimed coming-of-age comedic dramaThe Spectacular Now as “Krystal,” the protective, know-it-all best friend of Shailene Woodley’s character; and the much darker drama Short Term 12, where sheplays “Jayden,” a troubled teenager living in a group home for troubled youths alongside Brie Larson. Short Term 12 will premiere at SXSW 2013, and TheSpectacular Now recently premiered to rave reviews at Sundance 2013 and will screen again at SXSW
In 2012, Dever wrapped a two season-long arc playing “Loretta McCready” on the FX drama Justified, for which she received critical acclaim. She appeared in theHBO movie Cinema Verite with Diane Lane, Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini, and played a lead role in the 2009 HBO movie, An American Girl: Chrissa StandsStrong. On the Starz comedy series Party Down, she played Megan Mullally’s daughter, and later guest starred on the 2011 season premiere of the Emmy-winningHBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm starring Larry David. She also has starred in episodes of Emmy winning TV shows: The Mentalist, Modern Family and PrivatePractice.
Dever’s film credits include Cameron Diaz’s comedy Bad Teacher for Sony Pictures and the Warner Bros. film, J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and directedby Academy Award- winning director Clint Eastwood.
Hollywood is taking notice. In 2012, Dever was nominated three times at the 33rd Young Artist Awards for her roles in Bad Teacher, Last Man Standing andJustified. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her parents and two younger sisters.
RAMI MALEK (Nate)
Rami Malek is on the heels of costarring in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Amy Adams. Prior tothis, he was best known as Merriell “Snafu” Shelton from HBO’s EMMY award-winning mini- series “The Pacific” produced by the team of Steven Spielberg andTom Hanks. He also played the role of Pharaoh Ankmenrah in the box office smash hits The Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of theSmithsonian.
Following his star-making turn on The Pacific, Rami was cast opposite Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, a Sundance award-winningindependent film. He recently appeared in the latest Twilight installment, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, and will next be seen in Spike Lee’s adaptation of theacclaimed Korean thriller Oldboy, and in videogame adaptation Need For Speed.
KEITH STANFIELD (Marcus)
Keith Stanfield made his film debut in Destin Daniel Cretton's Sundance award-winning short film SHORT TERM 12. He returns as "Marcus" in the feature length film by Cretton. Keith has been rapping since he was 11-years-old and has recently been working on a musical project called "Moors" (www.soundcloud.com/wearemoors). He was born in San Bernardino is the summer of 1991 and has been dancing ever since.
KEVIN HERNANDEZ (Luis)
Kevin just booked a series regular role on FOX's SURVIVING JACK pilot and the indie feature SEX ED. He was recently named one of Variety's Top 10 Young Actors to Watch. His latest film SHORT TERM 12 just won best feature at SXSW. Other leading roles include 20th Century Fox feature, GET THE GRINGO, alongside co-star and director, Mel Gibson as well as FOX feature, THE SITTER, where Kevin co-stars with Jonah Hill, and has numerous television credits as well. Kevin resides with his family in Los Angeles.
ALEX CALLOWAY (Sammy)
Alex Calloway is a 13 year old actor from the Atlanta, Georgia area who splits time in Los Angeles to pursue his craft. Alex began acting in 2012 and has appeared in numerous short films, commercials, and documentaries in his short history in the industry. By far his proudest accomplishment was his acting debut as “Sammy” in the award winning film, Short Term 12. To portray this severely troubled youth from an abusive family required Alex to rely on his training received from the prestigious Alliance Theater and the Atlanta Workshop Players. Working with this wonderful cast and crew cemented Alex’s love of film and acting and was the perfect introduction to his chosen profession.
Frantz Turner (Jack)
Frantz Turner is a veteran of over 50 stage productions, including Los Angeles productions of the Ovation Award production of ‘The Last Season’ at the Robey Theatre, ‘Hospitality’ at the Odyssey, ‘The Grunt Childe’ at East-West Players, and ‘An American Tract’ at The Group Repertory. In New York, he has appeared in ‘Julius Caesar’ at The Public, ‘A Love Play at The Negro Ensemble Company, ‘Daughter’ at the Manhattan Theatre Club, and ‘Slow Dance on The Killing Ground’ at The City. For 46 episodes, Frantz served as Dialogue Director on the multiple Emmy winning hit series ‘Benson’. From ‘Hill Street Blues’ in the ‘80’s to ‘Desperate Housewives’, Frantz has appeared in scores of television shows, most notably as Abe Matthisen on the #1 show ‘NCIS’, Principal Earl Carter of the long running PBS series ‘Madison Heights’ and recurring as ‘Mr. Gilliard on CBS ‘The King of Queens’. Film credits include many urban comedies from ‘Going Beserk’ with John Candy to Master P’s ‘I Got The Hook Up’. Frantz is currently spending the 2013 summer opening a new acting school for Ivana Chubbuck in Bucharest, Romania.
DESTIN DANIEL CRETTON (Writer/Director)
Destin Daniel Cretton was born and raised in Maui, Hawaii, where he spent 3 of his summers picking pineapples in the fields near his home. He has a BA inCommunications from Point Loma Nazarene University and completed his Masters in Film at San Diego State University.
He’s written and directed 4 award-winning short films: “Longbranch: A Suburban Parable” (Premiered at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival), “Bartholomew’s Song”(2006 Student Academy Finalist), “Deacon’s Mondays” (2007 Student Academy Finalist, 2007 Angelus Winner, HBO Films Best Student Film Award), and“Short Term 12”, which won the U.S. Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, followed by top awards at Seattle International, Aspen Shorts Fest,Independent Film Festival Boston, CineVegas, GenArt, and was short-listed for the 2010 Academy Awards.
His feature film debut I AM NOT A HIPSTER premiered to critical acclaim at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Along with his narrative work, Destin has also directed two feature-length documentaries. DRAKMAR: A VASSAL’S JOURNEY premiered on HBO Family in2007 and won the Best Documentary Award at the 2006 Comic Con. BORN WITHOUT ARMS premiered on TLC/Discovery in 2009.
The script for Destin’s second feature SHORT TERM 12 (based on the short of the same title) was one of five to win a 2010 Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship fromthe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.