'Natural Selection,' A Dark Comedy That Lit Up SXSW

Mar 22, 2011

"Natural Selection," shot in Smithville with a Texas crew, won a total of six awards at the South By Southwest 2011 Film Festival, including the Grand Jury Prize and the audience pick for Best Narrative Feature.

The movie is a dark comedy about a woman (Rachael Harris) who goes searching for answers when she finds her husband's been keeping secrets from her — including fathering a son (Matt O’Leary). 

Robbie Pickering, the film's writer and director, said that while the film's not based on real events, he did draw from experience. 

"There are a lot of things that I put in there that were my own kind of issues that I think was dealing with subconsciously,” he notes. “And my own ideas about what I saw around be growing up, and what I see around me now, and what I saw around me at the moment when I wrote it, which was when my stepfather was dying, so it's only after years in therapy that I look back on that stuff and see all these things [in the movie]." 

"Natural Selection" was also awarded Best Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Score.  In the above interview, Pickering, Harris, and O’Leary talk about the film’s themes, and the challenges they faced on a 19-day shoot.