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Ken Loach The Old Oak

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Coal Miner’s Drifter: Ken Loach in Pre-Production with “The Old Oak”

Coal Miner’s Drifter: Ken Loach in Pre-Production with “The Old Oak”

International sales companies will be unveiling some of their new projects for the next couple of weeks and the Wild Bunch folks are back in the Ken Loach business once again serving up working class/social realism cinema with another times are changing portrait – we often think of his cinema as the English counterpart to the Dardenne Bros (who happen to be co-producers on the project with their Films Du Fleuve label).

Screen Daily reports that production on Loach’s The Old Oak will begin next month – making this a sure bet for a showing in Cannes 2023. Dave Turner (Sorry We Missed You) stars along with newcomer Ebla Mari. The usual mix of folks are back – we have Sixteen Films’ Rebecca O’Brien producing, scribe Paul Laverty and possibly cinematographer Robbie Ryan.

It is set in a former coal-mining village that has never fully recovered from the closure of the mines. Its once-thriving, proud community struggles to keep old values alive amid growing anger and despondency, while few youngsters stick around. An influx of Syrian refugees, drawn by the abundance of cheap and available housing, brings in fresh blood but it is not clear whether the community will accept them and what it means for the last remaining pub The Old Oak.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member 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 served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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