Director - Ken Loach
Script - Paul Laverty
Camera - Robbie Ryan
Music - George Fenton
Cast - Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Dylan McKiernan, Briana Shann, Kate Rutter, Sharon Percy, Kema Sikazwe
Producer - Rebecca O'Brien
Production - Rebecca O'Brien

Daniel Blake (59) has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. He crosses paths with single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie’s only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in a city she doesn’t know, some 300 miles away. Daniel and Katie find themselves in no-man’s land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver and skiver’ in modern-day Britain.

What lies at that root of the story?

Ken Loach: The universal story of people struggling to survive was the starting point. But then the characters and the situation have to be grounded in lived experience. If we look hard enough, we can all see the conscious cruelty at the heart of the state’s provision for those in desperate need and the use of bureaucracy, the intentional inefficiency of bureaucracy, as a political weapon: “This is what happens if you don’t work; if you don’t find work you will suffer”. The anger at that was the motive behind the film.


Cannes '16 – Golden Palm, Prize of the Ecumental Jury – Special Mention, Palm DogManitarian Award Locarno '16 – Audience Award San Sebastian '16 – Audience Award for Best Film Stockholm '16 – Audience Award Vancouver '16 – Most Popular International Feature Denver '16 – Special Jury Prize – Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Actress; Nomination for Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Film European Film Awards '16 – Nomination for European Film Award for European Actor, (Dave Johns), European Director and European Screenwriter British Independent Film Awards '16 – Nomination for British Independent Film Awards for Best British Independent Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Dave Johns), Best Actress (Hayley Squires), Most Promising Newcomer (Dave Johns and Hayley Squires)