Focus on Ken Loach

Ken Loach was born in 1936 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School and went on to study law at St. Peter's Hall, Oxford. After a brief spell in the theatre, Loach was recruited by the BBC in 1963 as a television director. This launched a long career directing films for television and the cinema, from Cathy Come Home and Kes in the sixties to Land and Freedom, Sweet Sixteen and Palm d’Or winner The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

Known for his socialist ideals, Loach champions the underdog and attempts to reveal the hardships and struggles of those at the bottom of the social hierarchy. There is no better example of Ken Loach’s gritty social realism than his most recent film, I, Daniel Blake, which earned him his second Palm d’Or this year in Cannes.

Ken loach is one of only nine directors to have won two prestigious Palm d’Or awards. The festival is also proud to be screening his feature debut Poor Cow and a fascinating documentary about the director himself Versus: The Life and Times of Ken Loach.