Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

I, Daniel Blake 2016

Directed by Ken Loach Big Nights

This often funny and ultimately intensely moving tale of the friendship between an out-of-work Newcastle carpenter and a young single mother won for Britain’s Ken Loach a second Palme d’Or for Best Film at Cannes this year.

Belgium / France / UK In English
100 minutes DCP




Rebecca O’Brien


Paul Laverty


Robbie Ryan


Jonathan Morris

Production designers

Fergus Clegg
Linda Wilson

Costume designer

Joanne Slater


George Fenton


Dave Johns (Daniel Blake)
Hayley Squires (Katie)
Dylan McKiernan (Dylan)
Briana Shann (Daisy)


Cannes (In Competition) 2016


Palme d’Or (Best Film)
Cannes Film Festival 2016


British cinema’s social realist enters his eighties with a second Palme d’Or to his name after the Cannes Jury this year awarded his feisty new film the festival’s highest prize.

“Fifty years since Ken Loach raged against homelessness in his television play Cathy Come Home, the British filmmaker has made a film infused with the same quiet but righteous anger about the failings of the society around him. I, Daniel Blake is the story of an unlikely but tender friendship between Katie (Hayley Squires), a single mother from London with two kids, and Dan (Dave Johns), a Geordie carpenter in his late fifties who’s out of work and recovering from a heart attack.

Both Katie and Dan are feeling the sharp end of the shrinking welfare state: Katie has been forced to move her children north to Newcastle to find a flat; Dan is stuck in a nightmarish bureacratic limbo between work, illness and benefits… Forces beyond both are turning them into different people. Dan is community-minded, gentle, a laugh. At first, he’s able to criticise, even laugh at, the system that’s crushing him.

The tragedy of the film – and its rousing point – is that in the end it’s all too much for one man, however much he takes a stand. Dan, and people like him everywhere, need a Katie watching their back; they need a community, a benevolent government, us.” — Dave Calhoun, Time Out

“The quiet beauty of I, Daniel Blake – the reason it’s the rare political drama that touches the soul – is that we believe, completely, in these people.” — Owen Gleiberman, Variety