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Otley writer-director films second script in Bradford
A contemporary version of an Oscar Wilde story – turned into a fable about teenage copper thieves in Bradford by an Otley writer-director – has been filmed in the city.
The Selfish Giant is made by Clio Barnard, based on stories she was told and people she met while filming The Arbor, a drama-documentary about Buttershaw playwright Andrea Dunbar.
Miss Barnard interviewed residents on the Buttershaw estate, where much of The Arbor was shot, and used local people in the film.
She got to know a group of boys who used horses and carts to collect scrap metal, inspiring her to write The Selfish Giant.
The film stars Siobhan Finneran – who was in Rita, Sue and Bob Too, the 1986 film based on Andrea Dunbar’s play – and Shameless actor Sean Gilder.
Backed by the British Film Institute Film Fund and Film4, it is described as a fable about a 14-year-old boy called Arbor and his best friend, Swifty. Excluded from school and outsiders in their community, they begin collecting scrap metal for a local scrapman, using a horse and cart. The boys make a good team, but when Arbor starts getting greedy tensions build, leading to a tragic event which changes their lives forever.
The Arbor, released in 2010, won several awards and Miss Barnard was nominated for a Bafta.
Two stars of The Arbor are in the second series of Kay Mellor’s BBC1 drama The Syndicate, which is also being filmed in Bradford. The first series, about a group of supermarket workers who win the lottery, starred Horsforth actor Matthew Lewis, who shot to fame as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies.
The second series has a new cast with Alison Steadman, Mark Addy, who starred in The Full Monty, Siobhan Finneran, who plays ladies’ maid O’Brien in Downton Abbey, former EastEnders actor Jimi Mistry and Bradford actress Natalie Gavin. Natalie and Jimi were both in The Arbor.