WAILUKU - Local nonprofit Maui Youth & Family Services (MYFS) will present an exclusive screening of the critically acclaimed movie "Short Term 12" on Friday, Aug. 15, in Wailuku's Historic Iao Theater. Maui-born-and-raised filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton is the film's creator.
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. He 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 20-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 Corp. noted.
"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 (2013) and one of the truest portrayals... ever seen about troubled teens and the people who dedicate their lives to trying to help them."
Entertainment Weekly included the film on its "Must List" last year and gave it an "A" rating.
"We are proud to show this poignant and heartfelt film, because every day we work with young people thriving against all odds," said MYFS CEO Jud Cunningham. "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.
Its 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.
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.
Visit www.myfs.org for more information or to purchase tickets, or call Frances at 579-8414, ext. 8102.
The event is sponsored by ProService Hawaii, FIM Group, First Hawaiian Bank, Maui Oil Company and Goodfellow Bros. Inc.