Ken Loach claims second Palme D'Or at Cannes Film Festival


Veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach has won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his latest film I, Daniel Blake, the second time he has clinched the prestigious prize.

The 79-year-old director and veteran left-wing activist took the top accolade at the international film festival for his story of a former Newcastle joiner who struggles in the welfare system after becoming ill.

Ken has had 12 films in competition at the Cannes Film Festival through his long career, including The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which took the Palme D'Or in 2006.

The filmmaker, whose past classics include 1969´s Kes, was up against a host of international stars for the prize. They included Spanish Oscar-winner Pedro Almodovar, Sean Penn and Paul Verhoeven.

Ken Loach in Cannes

He was not the only British winner at Cannes - Andrea Arnold's road movie American Honey, starring Shia LaBeouf, won the Prix du Jury (Jury Prize).

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 film-making."

Labour's shadow business secretary Angela Eagle was among those who congratulated Ken, tweeting: "Well done Ken Loach!"

Her party colleague Angela Rayner (Droylsden and Failsworth) added: "Absolutely made up for Ken Loach on his film I, Daniel Blake which has won the Palme D'Or at Cannes Film Festival."

The film tells the story of the eponymous Daniel Blake, who, after having a heart attack, crosses paths with single mother of two Katie, who moves to Newcastle from London, 300 miles away.