Destin Daniel Cretton hoists high his U.S. Jury Prize for best short film.

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Destin Daniel Cretton hoists high his U.S. Jury Prize for best short film.
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San Diego State University's School of Theatre, Television and Film had reason to cheer this week as one of its students won the U.S. Jury prize, a short film award, at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Graduate student Destin Daniel Cretton won the award for his film, "Short Term 12." 

"I've always wanted to be a filmmaker," said Cretton. "But it was never something that I imagined that I could do, until I got to college. Sundance has been the most amazing experience of my life so far."

Art imitating life

Cretton, who spent several years as a childcare worker at a residential facility for abused and neglected children, created "Short Term 12" as a way to deal with his own questions about that experience. Cretton is expected to graduate from SDSU in May 2009 with a Master of Arts degree in television, film and new media production.

"We're extremely proud of Destin and his team," said Randy Reinholz, Director of the School of Theatre, Television, and Film. "We believe all of our students are bright and creative and the experience and knowledge they gain at SDSU is invaluable to their careers. Destin is a shining example of that."

Shot entirely on location at the MacLaren Children's Center in Los Angeles, the film places viewers within the walls of a real facility and lets them feel what it's like to live and work in a place where hope is often difficult to find. An all-star ensemble cast radiates in this gritty and honest look at how human beings, no matter the age, inevitably impact each other.

Cretton will head to France next week for the 2009 Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival. "Short Term 12" is one of four U.S. films competing in the international short film festival.

About the Short Film Program

This year the Sundance Film Festival's Short Film Program was comprised of a record 96 short films from 5,632 submissions, from U.S. and international filmmakers.

The 2009 Short Film jurors were:

  • Gerardo Naranjo, director/writer/producer, "Voy a explotar," "Malachance" and "Perro Negro"
  • Lou Taylor Pucci, actor, "Thumbsucker"
  • Sharon Swart, Variety magazine


The below film features an interview with Cretton after winning the U.S. Jury Prize. The video was produced by the Sundance Film Festival.

The below is the trailer for "Short Term 12." For more information on the film, visit ShortTerm12.com.

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