Premiere of The Old Oak by Ken Loach at the Gala Theater in Durham

The old oak tree where the filming took place East Durham communities and tells the story of the arrival of Syrian refugees in a former mining village, will be the 87-year-old’s last feature film.

The world premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival and the UK premiere takes place next Thursday at the Gala Theater in Durham.

Read more: Ken Loach reflects on the current Labor leadership at the Big Meeting

The Northern Echo: Ken Loach at the Durham Miners' Gala in JulyKen Loach at the Durham Miners’ Gala in July (Image: Gavin Havery)The BAFTA-winning director, an outspoken socialist, has a close affinity with the communities of Durham Coalfield and attends the major gathering in the town every year.

Dave Turner, a retired firefighter from Blaydon who starred in Sorry We Missed You, plays a pub landlord. The new film introduces newcomer Ebla Mari as a woman who moves from her war-torn country to a mining village.

A spokesperson for distribution company StudioCanal described the film: “The Old Oak is a special place.

“Not only is it the last remaining pub, it is also the only remaining public space where people can meet in a once thriving mining community that is now falling on hard times after 30 years of decline.

The Northern Echo: The Old Oak is the last pub in a once thriving former mining communityThe Old Oak is the last pub in a once thriving former mining community (Image: StudioCanal)“The publican holds on to The Old Oak with his fingertips, and his predicament is made even more vulnerable when the pub becomes disputed territory following the arrival of Syrian refugees who are being housed in the village without notice.

“In an unusual friendship, he meets a curious young Syrian woman with her camera.

“Can they find a way for the two communities to understand each other? A deeply moving drama about their weaknesses and hopes unfolds.”

The Northern Echo: Ebla Mari and Dave Turner at Durham CathedralEbla Mari and Dave Turner at Durham Cathedral (Image: StudioCanal)Continue reading:

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The Northern Echo: A scene from the new filmA scene from the new film (Image: StudioCanal)The film sees Loach return to the North East after filming his two previous films I, Daniel Blake, winner of the Palme d’Or and BAFTA Outstanding British Film Awards, and Sorry We Missed You, both of which were also filmed in the region has.

Filming took place across County Durham last year in various locations including Murton, Easington Colliery and Horden, with support from award-winning North East Screen film office.

The film was written by BAFTA winner Paul Laverty and produced by BAFTA winner Rebecca O’Brien for Sixteen Films, all continuing their long-standing collaboration.

The Durham screening will take place at 6pm, followed by another screening at Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema that day at 7.15pm, with guests seated 15 minutes earlier.

Loach and the team will travel between the two locations to present the film at each venue.

The Northern Echo: Movie poster for the new Ken Loach filmMovie poster for the new Ken Loach film (Image: Contributor)The Old Oak will also be screening at the Everyman Cinema in Newcastle on September 23rd as a pre-opening event for the North East International Film Festival, which runs from September 25th to October 1st.

The Old Oak will be released by StudioCanal in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on September 29th.

Watch the trailer for “The Old Oak.” Here Premiere of The Old Oak by Ken Loach at the Gala Theater in Durham

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