Starring Dave Turner (Sorry We Missed You) and newcomer Ebla Mari, THE OLD OAK had its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2023, and will be released nationwide in Irish cinemas on September 29, 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, but it’s also 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 predicament is endangered even more when the pub becomes contested territory after the arrival of Syrian refugees who are placed in the village without any notice.
In an unlikely friendship TJ meets a curious 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 their fragilities and hopes.
THE OLD OAK is directed by BAFTA winner Ken Loach, written by BAFTA winner Paul Laverty and produced by BAFTA winner Rebecca O’Brien for Sixteen Films, all of whom continue their long-time collaboration following acclaimed films including Sorry We Missed You, I, Daniel Blake and Looking for Eric.
The film is a Sixteen Films and Why Not production made with the support of the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, and BBC Film, in co-production with Les Films du Fleuve.
THE OLD OAK will be released by STUDIOCANAL in Ireland on September 29, 2023.