Short Term 12 is a 2013 American independent drama film written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. It is adapted from Cretton's short film of the same name, produced in 2009. The film stars Brie Larson as Grace Howard, a young supervisor of a group home for troubled teenagers. The film was the first leading performance of Larson's career.
Cretton based Short Term 12 on his own experience working in a group facility for teenagers. He first wrote and produced a short film exploring this and later adapted it into a feature-length screenplay. While Larson and John Gallagher, Jr. won their roles after auditioning through Skype, most of the children featured in the film were cast through open casting calls. Filming took place over twenty days in Los Angeles, California in September 2012.
Short Term 12 premiered on March 10, 2013 at South by Southwest, where it won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for a Narrative Feature. The film was theatrically released in the United States on August 23, 2013, by Cinedigm. Made on a budget of less than $1 million and given a limited release, the film brought in strong box office receipts, grossing over $2.3 million. The film was widely acclaimed. Critics praised its realism and intimacy, with particular attention drawn to Larson's performance and Cretton's screenplay and direction. The film is considered one of the best films of 2013, appearing on several critics' year-end lists. It was listed by the National Board of Review as one of the Top Ten Independent Films of 2013. It earned three Independent Spirit Award nominations, including Best Female Lead, for Larson.