Otley director’s gritty film up for Bafta

Wharfedale Observer: A scene from The Selfish Giant A scene from The Selfish Giant

A film set and filmed in Bradford, starring two unknown schoolboys, is up for a Bafta, competing against heavyweight movies starring the cream of Hollywood talent.

The Selfish Giant, written and directed by Clio Barnard, of Otley, stars Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas as two friends who, excluded from school, turn to copper theft.

It is nominated in the Outstanding British Film category alongside such blockbusters as Gravity, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Rush and Saving Mr Banks.

Nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Baftas) are often mirrored in the Oscars. Last year, all five Bafta nominees in the Best Film category also received Oscar Best Picture nominations. The Bafta ceremony will take place on February 16 in London, hosted by Stephen Fry.

The Selfish Giant has already won several awards, including a British Independent Film Award for best technical achievement last month.

In November Miss Barnard was awarded the inaugural Wellcome Trust and BFI Screenwriting Fellowship, in association with Film4, recognising her “original, enquiring and visionary screenwriting”.

The film premiered at Cannes last year, winning the Europa Cinemas Label Prize for Best European Film.

Shot in and around Odsal and Buttershaw, it stars Shaun Thomas, 16, of Holme Wood and Conner Chapman, 14, of Buttershaw, as two boys who collect scrap metal.

David Wilson, director of Bradford City of Film said; “Clio’s ability to portray social realism and pack a real emotional punch, combined with Mike Eley’s poetic cinematography, make The Selfish Giant a strong contender.”

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