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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 08.24.16] thriller drama

With so many films being released every week, it's hard to be noticed among the throngs, particularly so when your movie doesn't star a widely recognizable face. First time director Chad L. Scheifele has found a way to cut through the noise by tackling controversial subject matter.

An adaptation of his short film of the same name, Natural Selection stars Mason Dye as Tyler, a teen with a troubled family life who finds himself in the role of "new kid in school" when he moves into town with his mom. At first picked on, Tyler soon finds himself befriending Indrid (Ryan Munzert), a popular kid who also has a bit of a dark streak but it quickly becomes clear that Indrid's antics aren't just for show.

Natural Selection isn't particularly subtle and the performances are, at times, strained, but I like that Scheifele tackles the hot topic subject matter from a different perspective. Between that, the solid writing and great chemistry between Munzert and Dye, I found myself taken in by Natural Selection.

Last week I had a chance to talk with Scheifele about where the concept for the story emerged, how he approached writing characters which feel authentic and the process of finding the right cast.

Natural Selection opens theatrically and is available on iTunes and On Demand on August 26, 2016.


Recommended Release: Polytechnique

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