BBC Films

Pop Art by Amanda Boyle

Pop Art by Amanda Boyle

Average Rating

3.7.0 / 5


A film about the friendship between 12-year-old Toby, who is trying to make sense of life and Arthur, who just happens to be inflatable...

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A year after his mother's death, Toby is in limbo and angry about it but he's still just a kid at school.

Into Toby's life comes Art. Art is made of plastic and filled with air. He’s someone unique who also doesn't fit in and shares a very different outlook on life. Both boys become firm friends and as Toby starts to open up, Art shows him another way to live.

As with all the best tales, it's not going to last and, with Art gone, Toby has to choose whether to go back to whom he was before – or to finally move on.

Pop Art is based on the short story by the American writer Joe Hill. Director Amanda Boyle was drawn to the unusual tone of the tale - which she describes as 'mundane fantasy'. Having been shown the story by producer Kate Myers, Amanda wrote to Joe out of the blue to ask for the rights. As luck would have it Joe was coming to the UK to receive an award from the British Fantasy Society for his horror writing. Joe agreed to the project over a lunch of fish and chips outside the Fantasycon convention in Nottingham.

The seemingly effortless look of Arthur Roth was created through a deceptive combination of old fashioned puppetry by Talk to the Hand Puppetry and high-tech digital effects by the Mill. Many of the puppet parts were actually inflatable.

Since making Pop Art, Bill Milner (Toby) has appeared in Is Anybody There? with Michael Caine. Producers Kate Myers and Tracy Brimm have made the horror film Tormented and are now in post-production for their next feature, Skeletons. Meanwhile Amanda is currently back in Nottingham directing a new drama series called Cast Offs for Channel 4 written by Jack Thorne, Tony Roche and Alex Bulmer.

  • Toby

    Bill Milner
  • Dad

    Daniel Ryan
  • Mrs Gannon

    Sharon Small
  • Mr Milton

    Andrew Havill
  • William Spears

    Duncan Clark
  • John Erikson

    George Morgan
  • Cassius Delamitri

    Matthew Storey
Funded By
Pulse Plus digital scheme through UKFC and BBC Films
Festivals & Screenings

Leeds International Film Festival, 2008

London Film Festival, 2008

Encounters, Bristol, 2008

Birds Eye View, London, 2009

Dresden Film Festival, Germany, 2009

Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage, Germany, 2009

Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival, USA, 2009

Athens Film Festival, USA, 2009


Audience Narrative Short Award, Austin Film Festival, Austin, US, 2008

Best Narrative Short, RiverRun International Film Festival, Winston-Salem, USA, 2009

Special Jury Award (Directing), Atlanta Film Festival, USA, 2009


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