Alumni Wins at South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival

Friday, April 5, 2013

Point Loma Nazarene University
Contact: Kalyn McMackin (760) 685-3312
Point TV: Channel 23 Public Relations Manager.
Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358
Date: April 1, 2013
Written by: Kalyn McMackin

PLNU Alumni Wins at SXSW Film Conference and Festival

Point Loma Nazarene Alumni, Destin Daniel Cretton, was recognized as the audience award winner in the “Narrative Feature” competition at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas.

The 2001 graduate wrote and directed “Short Term 12,” a story told through the eyes of Grace, a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Grace’s own difficult past is made all the more clearer with the arrival of a new intake at the facility: a gifted yet troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has an electric connection.

 “Short Term 12 is about the workers and kids in a group home,” said Cretton. “There are many facilities like this still operating today, so it was a challenge to make sure that everything was represented with as much authenticity as possible.”

 While the subject matter is complex, this film finds both truth and humor in unforeseen places.

 The PLNU Mass Communication major was “filled to the brim with joy” at receiving the award. He attributes much of the success to the team he was a part of in making this film.
 “Short Term 12” is not Cretton’s first film. His previous film, “I AM NOT A HIPSTER,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, will be playing at the Digital Gym, a San Diego independent theatre.

 “I AM NOT A HIPSTER” is based upon a young singer-songwriter who is reminded of the former self he left in Ohio and confronted to deal with who he has become now. Based around San Diego’s indie music and art scene, the film features original performances while exploring what it means to be “creative in the face of tragedy.”

 Having been in the film making industry for nearly 12 years now, Cretton’s biggest piece of advice to PLNU students is simply believe in yourself.

 “Don't believe anyone who tells you there is only one way to get somewhere,” said Cretton. “Just be true to yourself, follow your instincts, and tell the stories that move you.  As Woody Allen puts it, "It's not quantum physics.  It's storytelling.  It's a story and you tell it.  There's not much to it."

 If you would like to meet Cretton or check out his film “I AM NOT A HIPSTER”, go to for more information.