Ken Loach has bagged Cannes Film Festival’s biggest prize taking home the Palme d’Or for I Daniel Blake. This is Loach’s second Palme d’Or having previously triumphed with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
British cinema’s great social realist Ken Loach, whose gritty teen drama Kes was voted the 7th greatest British film by the British Film Institute, has won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for north-east based I Daniel Blake.
The film, which was supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, stars Dave Johns as a joiner in his fifties who falls ill and requires state help through the disability allowance. A tale of red tape and lost hope, Johns’ Daniel Blake must overcome the bureaucracy involved in the system alongside the relationship he builds with a struggling mother enduring her own problems seeking an escape from a homeless persons’ hostel.
I Daniel Blake wasn’t the only British winner at Cannes this year. Andrea Arnold’s road movie American Honey (the first film of the former British actress-turned-director to be set and filmed outside the UK) stars debutant Sasha Lane alongside Shia LaBeouf and was named the winner of the festival’s Jury Award.
Commenting on British cinema’s success at Cannes, Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund said, “What a moment for British cinema, and for two important and humane films with so much to say. Bravo to Ken and to Andrea and their collaborators – including the unstoppable Robbie Ryan who shot both films. This is cinema from the heart, and we’re grateful that we have an industry that can support such personal, powerful filmmaking.”