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Top 20 Alternative Picks for Cannes 2013: Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant – Clio Barnard

Section: Directors’ Fortnight

Buzz: Coming to the Croisette with one of the most anticipated sophomore films, Barnard’s multiple festival award-winning debut, experimental, bio-documentary The Arbor (2010) put her on the map of British filmmakers to watch out for.

The Gist:13 year-old Arbor and his best friend Swifty, both excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, meet Kitten, a local scrapdealer and 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. But when Kitten begins to favor Swifty, leaving Arbor hurt and excluded, a wedge is driven between the boys. Arbor becomes increasingly greedy and exploitative, increasing the tension between them, and leading to a tragic event which transforms them all.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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