Coming up Friday, August 15 in Wailuku’s Historic Iao Theater, local nonprofit Maui Youth & Family Services (MYFS) presents an exclusive screening of the critically acclaimed movie ‘Short Term 12’ by Maui-born and raised filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton. As a bonus, the evening also includes a performance by chart-topping singer/songwriter Steve Zuwala.
Cretton grew up in Haiku making “movies” with his five siblings using his grandma’s VHS camcorder and graduated from Maui High School in 1996. His first job after college was at a group home for at-risk teens in California – his inspiration for ‘Short Term 12.’ He described his experience in a September 2013 Vanity Fair article as “my own coming-of-age story. I had some of the most blissful moments seeing certain kids that once I had very little hope for learn things and turn themselves around to the point where they’re living great lives.”
The film is told through the eyes of Grace, a twenty-something supervisor at a foster home whose own past “and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself, throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility…a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection” (Cinedigm Corporation).
‘Short Term 12’ took the film world by storm. In 2013 it won top honors at the South by Southwest Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Maui Film Festival. The Chicago-Sun Times described it as “one of the best movies of
“We are proud to show this poignant and heartfelt film because every day we work with young people thriving against all odds,” said Jud Cunningham, MYFS Chief Executive Officer. “Cretton is a tremendous inspiration and the fact that he has such close ties to this community makes the occasion even more special.” MYFS provides at-risk youth with opportunities to succeed within a supportive and safe environment through programs such as emergency shelters, therapeutic foster care, outreach and advocacy for homeless teens, as well as in-school and after school counseling for teens affected by substance abuse.
Their Independent Living Program helps young people aging out of foster care with developing and achieving academic and professional goals, as well as with accessing other community resources, such as those related to housing and healthcare. Prevention Programs allow youth to develop peer support from friendships made in a positive environment, which in turn helps them stay on track and reduces the likelihood that they will later engage in dangerous and unhealthy activities.
Zuwala has had eight number one international singles and received two Hawaiian Music Awards for his songs “Toes in the Sand” and “Tough Guys.” His most recent country single “Little Things” soared to number one through Glory Train Records in 2014. “Steve’s uplifting and meaningful music is a perfect complement to this movie,” said Frances Duberstein, MYFS Development Coordinator.
The event starts at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. (open seating). There is a suggested donation of $20 in advance and $25 at the door, with proceeds supporting MYFS. “In addition to listening to great music and seeing a fabulous film, people can help the hundreds of youth that we serve each year,” said Duberstein. The event is sponsored by ProService Hawaii, FIM Group, First Hawaiian Bank, Maui Oil Company and Goodfellow Bros., Inc.