Ken Loach’s fierce final call for compassion and solidarity”- The Guardian ★★★★
Directed by Ken Loach and written by his long-time collaborator Paul Laverty. Starring Dave Turner (Sorry We Missed You) and newcomer Ebla Mari, THE OLD OAK had its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2023.
The film sees BAFTA-winning director Loach return to the North East following his previous two films I, Daniel Blake, winner of the Palme d’Or and BAFTA Outstanding British Film awards, and Sorry We Missed You which both also shot in the region. Shooting took place across County Durham last year in locations including Murton, Easington Colliery and Horden.
The Old Oak is a special place. Not only is it the last pub standing, it is the only remaining public space where people can meet in a once thriving mining community that has now fallen on hard times after 30 years of decline. TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner) the landlord hangs on to The Old Oak by his fingertips, and his hold is endangered even more when The Old Oak becomes contested territory after the arrival of Syrian refugees who are placed in the village.
In an unlikely friendship TJ encounters a young Syrian, Yara (Ebla Mari) with her camera. Can they find a way for the two communities to understand each other? So unfolds a deeply moving drama about loss, fear and the difficulty of finding hope.
THE OLD OAK is directed by BAFTA winner Ken Loach, written by BAFTA winner Paul Laverty, and isproduced by BAFTA winner Rebecca O’Brien for Sixteen Films. All of whom continue their acclaimed long-time collaboration following films including Sorry We Missed You, I, Daniel Blake and Looking for Eric.