The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about 13 year old Arbor (Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighbourhood, the two boys meet Kitten (Gilder), a local scrapdealer – the Selfish Giant. They begin collecting scrap metal for him using a horse and cart. Swifty has a natural gift with horses while Arbor emulates Kitten – keen to impress him and make some money. However, Kitten favours Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded, driving a wedge between the boys. Arbor becomes increasingly greedy and exploitative, becoming more like Kitten. Tensions build, leading to a tragic event, which transforms them all.


Writer Clio Barnard

Cast Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder, Steve Evets, Lorraine Ashbourne, Siobhan Finneran

Producers Tracy O'Riordan

Production Credits Katherine Butler - Executive Producer, Lizzie Francke - Executive Producer, British Film Institute (BFI), Film4, Moonspun Films"


Clio Barnard has established herself as one of the UK’s most distinctive cinematic voices following rave reviews and awards for her feature-length debut The Arbor, a documentary about the late Bradford poet Andrea Dunbar, as well as her sophomore feature The Selfish Giant. The latter film followed two scrappy 13-year-old working-class friends in Bradford seeking fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal. The film was a critical darling on its release, launching at Directors' Fortnight in Cannes and winning the best British film of the year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards along with a whole host of other festival awards.