One film won the majority of prizes last night at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin. The jury wholeheartedly embraced Natural Selection, a new indie feature that was written and directed by Texan Robbie Pickering. The NYU film school graduate has a track record that includes award-winning short films and commercials. The film is his feature directing debut.
Described as the story of a sheltered Christian housewife in Texas, Natural Selection depicts the drama that unfolds when the woman learns that her dying husband has an 23-year old illegitimate son. The film won numerous awards at last night's ceremony, including best narrative feature and the narrative audience award, as well as writing and acting prizes.
The popular film festival continues through the weekend in Austin with the event's 25th music festival opening tonight in the Texas capital.
List of winners:
Best Narrative Feature: Natural Selection, directed by Robbie Pickering
Breakthrough Performances: Evan Ross in 96 Minutes, Rachael Harris in Natural Selection, Matt O'Leary in Natural Selection
Best Screenplay: Natural Selection, written by Robbie Pickering
Best Documentary Feature: Dragonslayer, directed by Tristan Patterson
Audience Award (narrative feature): Natural Selection, directed by Robbie Pickering
Audience Award (documentary feature): Kumaré, directed by Vikram Gandhi
Audience Award (Spotlight Premieres): Becoming Santa, directed by Jeff Myers
Audience Award (Spotlight Premieres): Weekend, directed by Andrew Haigh