Ken Loach film on brutal benefits system headlines film festival

I daniel blake

Ken Loach's latest award winning film about a 59-year-old joiner who falls ill and applies for Employment and Support Allowance is to close 12 day festival

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14th September 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Ken Loach’s latest film condemning the UK’s brutal welfare system is to get a special preview at a charity film festival in Edinburgh

I, Daniel Blake will be the closing film of the 12-day Take One Action Film Festival on 25 September at the city’s Filmhouse venue.

The festival, which first launched in 2008, aims to engage audiences by showcasing inspiring stories that comment on issues of global concern.

Organisers are delighted to have secured critically acclaimed director Loach’s latest work, which was the Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as Q&A session with its screenwriter Paul Laverty immediately afterwards.

I, Daniel Blake is a wake-up call to the reality of a brutal, inhumane system

The British drama follows 59-year-old Daniel, a joiner in the north-east of England who falls ill with heart disease and so applies for Employment and Support Allowance. While he endeavours to overcome the red tape involved in getting this assistance, he meets single mother Katie and her two children, Dylan and Daisy, who, in order to escape a homeless persons' hostel in London, must take up residence in a flat 300 miles away.

Tamara Van Strijthem, executive director of the festival, says it is a film that will resonate with campaigners, volunteers, artists and activists alike.

“We are honoured to be closing this year’s festival with such a powerful drama, directed and written by Take One Action patrons.

“Like all of the work Ken Loach and Paul Laverty have produced together, I, Daniel Blake is rooted in the absolute belief in the power of art – and film in particular – to address profound injustices head on. It’s a wake-up call to the reality of a brutal, inhumane system – and a rallying cry for us to reconnect with our shared humanity, dignity and empathy.”

Laverty added: “Take One Action Film Festival screenings are always a treat so I am delighted they will be screening the film for the first time in Scotland, at Edinburgh Filmhouse. I know from past experience the post discussions are challenging, full of ideas way beyond the immediate confines of the film.

“I am doubly happy it is in Edinburgh too as so many of the people who helped me in my research for the script are from around here, including the Edinburgh Coalition against Poverty, Black Triangle, ACE (Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh)  the PSC Union and many more besides."

Take One Action 2016 will present 22 feature films and 22 short films alongside special events for schools, free campaigner training workshops and director masterclasses, in eight venues across Glasgow and Edinburgh. Every screening at the festival will be accompanied by a discussion event with directors, campaigners, artists, journalists or politicians.

As well as I, Daniel Blake, the legacy of austerity measures in Europe is powerfully explored in two other films presented as part of this year’s festival programme.

Documentary A Farm of Passage looks at a community centre in the Catalonian city of Sabadell, where a group of people from all ages and social backgrounds meet in a spirit of defiance and mutual support, to prevent evictions by providing legal advice, challenging banks’ lending terms or, as a last resort, advocating civil disobedience.

Comedy drama The Olive Tree, also written by Paul Laverty and directed by Edinburgh-based filmmaker Iciar Bollain tells the story of Alma, a young woman whose family farm has been forced to sell some of their ancient olive trees to foreign buyers to make ends meet. When the loss of one 2000-year-old tree leaves her grandfather refusing to eat or speak, Alma becomes convinced that, in order for him to recover, she must reclaim it from its new

To view the full programme of events and for tickets visit the festival's website.