Teen pregnancy in film is nothing new, but for filmmaker Micah Magee, she approaches the subject in her debut feature, “Petting Zoo,” from a personal and observational place that’s without judgment, and based on her own experiences as a young mother. The story follows Layla, who, on the cusp of high school graduation, becomes unexpectedly pregnant. She faces the expectations thrust upon her from her family and friends in small-town Texas, set against a brewing romance and desire for more. Magee understands how much it is to handle.
“Like how present are your parents, and how present you need to be, when do you need to start working, when is it financially necessary for you to start working, do you pay rent to your parents to live there because they need you to? Stuff like that which I think varies a lot from family to family and income level to income level,” she recently told KUT. Below, in our exclusive clip from the film, Layla shows that she doesn’t easily rely on others, as hard as that is for some folks to hear.
Starring Devon Keller, Austin Reed, Deztiny Gonzales, and Kiowa Tucker, “Petting Zoo” makes its North American premiere at SXSW tonight. Watch below.