search button
newscenter logo
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Follow SDSU  Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook Follow SDSU on Google+ SDSU RSS Feed

Brett Pawlak (left) and Destin Daniel Cretton ('11). (Photo: Ron Najor) Brett Pawlak (left) and Destin Daniel Cretton ('11). (Photo: Ron Najor)

“The Glass Castle” Director Hails from SDSU

SDSU alumnus Destin Daniel Cretton’s new film is an adaptation of the New York Times best-selling novel.
By Coleen L. Geraghty

The film version of the best-selling novel “The Glass Castle” opened in theatres on Aug. 11 with a familiar name in the production credits.

Destin Daniel Cretton, the film’s director, is a 2011 graduate of San Diego State University’s master of fine arts program in theatre, television and film. Born in Hawaii, he came to San Diego at the age of 19.

Cretton enjoyed early success in 2009, when his master's degree thesis, “Short Term 12,” won the Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize for short films. Soon afterward, he received a $30,000 Nicholl Fellowship, awarded to rising screenwriters by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Cretton also wrote and directed “I am not a Hipster” and a feature-length version of “Short Term 12” starring Brie Larson, who stars in “The Glass Castle.”

"Destin possesses an exceptionally calm, reflective bent of mind, remarkable perspicacity and unusually developed powers of observation," said Greg Durbin, professor and head of film production in SDSU's Department of Theatre, Television and Film. "These qualities were strikingly evident even when he was a student, and they attracted a great deal of collaborative talent for his projects."

Assist from Kathleen Kennedy Fund

As an SDSU student, Cretton received an award from the Kathleen Kennedy Fund, established by Oscar-nominated producer and alumna Kathleen Kennedy to assist aspiring filmmakers. 

“I can't say thank you enough to all the talented people in San Diego and SDSU who helped to make this movie possible,” Cretton said before the premiere of "I am not a Hipster" in 2012.

First major film

“The Glass Castle” is a memoir written by journalist Jeannette Walls about her childhood of poverty and parental neglect.

A New York Times best seller for more than 250 weeks, the book was adapted for the screen by Cretton and Andrew Lanham, also a Nicholl Fellowship winner. It is Cretton’s first project working with a major film distributor, Lionsgate.

In addition to Larson, the film stars Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts.